A housing association tenant has been left £215 out of pocket after paying gas bills for two years in good faith – only to find he was paying for his neighbour’s supply.
James Kelly, of Broomhill Wynd in Monifieth, holds Hillcrest Homes responsible for the issue, which only came to light a year and a half after he moved into the new-build block.
The 56-year-old had been sending readings and payments to Scottish Power for a meter marked with his flat number since he arrived in November 2017.
He did this in good faith despite barely using his gas supply at all.
But a recent annual inspection unearthed a costly mistake – that engineers confused his meter with that of his neighbour and labelled them the wrong way round.
However, the neighbour who lived there has since left.
The error has been corrected by engineers in ballpoint pen and Mr Kelly’s actual meter shows barely any use at all.
Hillcrest has accepted responsibility for the meter mistake but has told him to seek a refund from Scottish Power, offering the services of a case worker to do so.
It has also offered him a “compensation” settlement of £50 on the condition he seeks no further redress from Hillcrest.
However, Mr Kelly – himself an experienced housing officer – believes the firm should pay up and draw a line under the matter.
“Hillcrest says it’s nothing to do with them but it is – because of them I’m having to go through all of this,” Mr Kelly said.
“I know which meter is mine now but they want me to talk to Scottish Power, even though it is their mistake.
“I feel they just blank people in the hope they give up on having things sorted through them.
“But if I have to go to the Hillcrest office on Explorer Road and ask chief executive Angela Linton to write me a cheque, I will.”
Stuart Dow, director of Hillcrest Enterprises, said the firm was committed to helping Mr Kelly to resolve what he called an “administrative mix-up”.
However, he insists that the responsibility for a refund still lies with Scottish Power, contrary to Mr Kelly’s belief.
Mr Dow said: “We have committed to ensuring that Mr Kelly will not be out of pocket which includes us paying Mr Kelly £215.89, on top of the £50 compensation already offered, if his gas supplier refuses to pay out.
“We are attempting to work with him to get this matter resolved quickly.
“To ensure that we don’t encounter this issue again in the future we have changed our procedures as a result of Mr Kelly’s complaint.”
A Scottish Power spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the matter and are looking into it.”