A mother and her children were left shivering in the freezing cold for four days – before their broken gas meter was finally repaired.
Sharon Szatkowski’s winter nightmare began on Monday November 29, when her pay-as-you-go card gas meter broke down at 6.30pm.
But it was not until four days later that engineers at last arrived at her home on Commercial Street, Oswaldtwistle to fix the problem.
Sharon, 33, and her children Amie, 14, and Liam, 12, as well as Prince the cat, were left in a freezing cold house, during the sub-zero temperatures that gripped the nation.
Sharon said she was furious and demanded to know why it had happened to her and her family.
She said: "I am really annoyed about it.
"We were left four nights without any heating, and it was so cold that on the Thursday night, me and the kids had to sleep downstairs with an electric fire on as it was just so cold."
Sharon works as a doctors’ receptionist and had to take time off work to sit at her house while waiting for the engineers to come and fix the problem.
She said: "It was just ridiculous. It’s a three bedroom house with single-glazing, and we were just so cold inside.
"When you breathed, you could see your breath. We had loads of layers on and at one point, I had my shoes on, but I was still cold.
"On Friday, I had to leave work early and then go back in at 4.30pm, and I must have lost between £60 and £70 just through leaving work early. It's so annoying.
"I told them the system they have is absolutely appalling."
And she claims that she could not get a straight answer from British Gas.
She said: "Fair enough, they have to allow up to four hours to get to you, but I would rather they had been straight with me and told me when they were going to come.
"I had to find out the answers myself."
Sara Powell-Davies of British Gas apologised for the problem and blamed a huge influx of calls due to the weather.
She said: "I am very sorry that an engineer was not able to get to Ms Szatkowski to fix her meter sooner.
"Ms Szatkowski had alternative heating in the form of halogen and electric heaters and we arranged to send an additional £30 to her electric meter to cover the cost of running these until we could get an engineer to her.
"Due to the current spell of cold weather, we are experiencing very high call volumes and we are trying to prioritise our call outs so that our engineers are helping our most vulnerable customers first."