BRITISH Gas has apologised to a young couple after they were forced to top up a gas pre-payment card FIVE times in one day, due to a billing fault.
Janet Cunningham and husband Mark, 26, found they were only credited with 30p for every £1 paid, after moving into their new home in East Crescent, Accrington, three weeks ago.
The meter had built up debts of £125 from previous users.
In the space of four days last week, the couple, who have children aged three and 11 months, made 10 separate visits to the local off-licence just to charge the gas card, forcing them to limit washing and central heating use.
Full-time mum Janet, 34, said: "I just don’t understand why they can’t clear the meter and let us get on with our lives.
"It is an embarrassment when you look like paupers."
After being contacted by the Observer, British Gas discovered that instructions sent remotely to the meter had been blocked by a previous message, meaning payments had continued to be made towards the debt, which has now been cleared.
A further £16 has also been reimbursed to cover gas overpayments, plus a £20 goodwill gesture towards phone calls.
A spokesperson for the utility company said: "We apologise sincerely for the error and have done everything we can to resolve the problem and compensate Mr and Mrs Cunningham for their loss."