£800 demand but this mum didn’t owe a single penny
AN ASHFORD mother claims she suffered years of harassment at the hands of British Gas after being blacklisted for a debt she never owed.
Justine Linden says her struggle with the energy giant began after her account was taken over by the company in 1999.
She believes a tenant then living in her property unwittingly signed up with British Gas, without her knowledge.
In December 2002, Ms Linden, 35, of Goldings Court, Nine Acres, was surprised to receive a bill for almost £800 from British Gas.
But it took her until March 2005 for British Gas to admit a mistake had been made. Ms Linden had only ever paid for gas usage in advance on a key meter.
She says the gas company only wrote to her and apologised after independent pressure group energywatch took up her case.
This month, after being refused credit to buy a computer and mobile phone, Ms Linden discovered she had a poor credit rating due to a default of £797, with British Gas.
“They have ruined my credit rating and I never owed them a penny,” she said.
She claims British Gas told her she would have to clear her own name through credit check company, Experian.
During 2003 and 2004, Ms Linden, who has a four-year-old son, was inundated with solicitors letters, bills, and demands from debt collectors, threatening her with court action and warning her credit rating would be blighted if she failed to pay the £797 she owed to British Gas.
“I have a little boy and I was terrified they were going to take me to court for something I didn’t owe them,” she said.
Justine Linden whose credit rating suffered due to an error by British Gas