Businessman’s shock at £12k electric bill

Howard Gallimore with the British Gas bills sent in error
Howard Gallimore with the British Gas bills sent in error

A WIGAN restaurateur feared he had been dealt a business-wrecking blow after receiving letters that told him his electricity bills had rocketed by almost £10,000.

Howard Gallimore was stunned when he opened his post to find British Gas had charged him a combined £12,342.96 in recent bills for his three eateries.

When I first saw the bills I couldn’t believe it. I really thought that would be the end of my businesses

Howard Gallimore

This was more than triple his usual costs and the owner feared his business would go under.

However he has since had a reprieve after the electricity company has admitted these charges were just a “mistake”.

Now, despite being relieved, Mr Gallimore said the firm delivered “despicable” customer service throughout it all.

He added: “When I first saw the bills I couldn’t believe it. I really thought that would be the end of my businesses.

“Of course, I called British Gas up straight away but was met with a woman who, after a bit of discussion, began shouting at me. She was utterly rude and I am appalled by her reaction and customer service.

“I felt so relieved when I received the phone call saying the company had made a mistake, I can finally relax again.

“But I just wonder, if it’s happened to me, how many other people have received the wrong bill as well?”

Mr Gallimore runs Gallimores restaurant, Cafe Select and Mr Chips, all situated in the town centre.

A spokesman from British Gas said representatives looked into what had happened after Mr Gallimore had been in touch to explain the situation.

The company cancelled the three incorrect bills the same day, apologised for the errors and told him he would receive new ones.

The firm has since offered Mr Gallimore £150 as a gesture of goodwill for the upset and inconvenience he has experienced.

Leigh Franks of British Gas Business added: “I’m sorry that we sent incorrect bills to Mr Gallimore in error.

“We have now put this right and offered him a gesture of goodwill.”