“British Gas broke into my house – and I’m not even a customer”

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British Gas debt collectors broke into a couple’s home – despite the fact that they were not customers and had not used gas in over 30 years.

The traumatic event is part of a rise in the number of utility companies turning to debt collectors after energy bills more than doubled in the past year.

Dox Doherty, 38, said he and his wife Emma, ​​44, did not have accounts with British Gas. However, three men – two third-party debt collectors and a British Gas representative – picked the lock on the house and attempted to change the meter.

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The trio had actually been dispatched to the next apartment. A spokesman said they had mistakenly entered Mr Doherty’s property.

British Gas said it sent frequent reminders to settle a bill at a nearby flat. On May 30, the supplier obtained a warrant to enter the apartment to change the meter, which was incorrectly registered at the couple’s address.

Mr Doherty said the incident made them anxious – and they were put on anti-anxiety medication to help them sleep. “We still don’t sleep well,” he added. “British Gas is not helping much in the situation. One would expect such a big company to be better. He didn’t do any wellness checks beforehand to see if we were elderly or vulnerable,” he said.

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“We just want security now. We want new doors and this should pay for it – he’s the one who put us in this position.

Energy companies have increased the number of debt collectors sent to harass struggling families as rising bills push growing numbers into arrears.

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