EDF customers 'terrified' to put heating on after sudden rise in bills

EXCLUSIVE ‘Terrified’ EDF customers claim sudden increases in monthly bills have ruined holidays, left them unable to remortgage their homes and scared to put the heating on

Panicked EDF customers today revealed how they have been left scared to put the heating on after a ‘system error’ caused energy bills to soar to eyewatering sums of money.

Terrified Brits including an NHS doctor said their holidays were ruined by the shock turn, with one revealing they were blocked from getting a remortgage on their home after electricity bills surged to thousands of pounds a month.

Another told MailOnline how she was so ‘terrified’ that she is scared to put the heating on at all. 

MailOnline revealed how customers including Jon Sopel and Sir Grayson Perry were left ‘choking on their cereal’ after discovering their monthly bills had surged to as much as £39,000 a month. 

However, EDF said ‘unusual’ direct debit changes could occur when incorrect meter readings were recorded on its system.

EDF, which made a pre-tax profit of £1.1billion in the UK last year, claimed Mr Perry and Mr Sopel’s cases were not part of a wider issue. However, MailOnline has discovered that some customers are wrongly seeing their bills being hiked to extortionate amounts and are being chased for thousands of pounds they do not owe.

** Have you been hit by a massive EDF bill? Please email: [email protected] ** 

Dr Lauren Huzzey’s three-day holiday was ruined when she saw her monthly EDF bill would skyrocket by 1,016 per cent

Dr Huzzey’s bill from EDF in August showed she was more than £2,500 in debit. She later found out she owed £700

NHS doctor Lauren Huzzey’s three-day holiday was ruined by stress when she was told in August her electricity and gas bill was going to shoot up in October by 1,016 per cent from £122 to £1,362.

READ MORE: Broadcaster Jon Sopel tells of his shock after discovering his monthly EDF bill had risen from £152 to a ‘ridiculous’ £19,274 – as energy firm blames ‘erroneous meter readings’ and ‘system error’

The single mother to her primary school-aged daughter cancelled her direct debit and said she wouldn’t have been able to pay her rent for her modest two-bedroom mid-terraced home if the money was taken out. 

She spent days on long calls trying to speak to someone only for the monthly direct debit to suddenly be reduced to £147.

‘I missed a reading earlier in the year and all of a sudden my bill jumped,’ she told MailOnline.

‘As it turned out, I only owed them £700 in the end. I cannot tell you how incredibly stressful all this was. I sat on long calls, just trying to speak to someone. In the end, I never actually spoke to a human being, they just ‘fixed’ it a few weeks later. 

‘I was trying to work out how I would be able to afford it all. I spent days looking at accounts to see how I would afford it, but I couldn’t at all.’

She said it will take her two years to pay back the money she owes but hit out at the energy firm for the ‘disgusting’ way ‘they treat their customers’. 

Grant Tanner’s EDF account was showing as being £1,443.80 in credit only for it to dramatically change in the space of a few hours to show him incredibly owing £7,401.89. 

Jon Sopel, who presents The News Agents podcast from Global, said he almost choked on his cornflakes when he saw his monthly EDF bill had risen to more than £19,000

Ex-BBC journalist Mr Sopel asked EDF if he could speak to a human rather than a bot about his monthly standing order rising from £152 to £19,274

Grayson Perry CBE shared a similar story this morning, as he found his electricity bill from EDF had jumped from £300 a month to massive £39,000

After a year of chasing Mr Tanner for the money, who claims they threatened to send debt collectors to his home, he says EDF admitted there was a mistake with the app. 

READ MORE: ‘Dear EDF, my monthly standing order is going up from £300 to £39,000 a month – is there someone I can speak to please? Merry Christmas’ 

He says that error is now stopping him from remortgaging his home.

‘Eventually after about a year they realised it was a mistake and it was just over £2,000 [that I owed],’ he said.

‘As a sorry they gave me a measly £50 but I could not be bothered to complain anymore. However, I’m now just remortgaging and have found I can’t get one because they have put a block on my credit report all because of their ridiculous errors which I find completely unacceptable.

‘I am now in the same process of calling and emailing to get this removed. I just wonder how many people they are doing this to!’

Others like Jason Seni are still fighting against ‘grossly inaccurate’ hikes after he noticed an abrupt change in the amount of money being taken out from his bank account. 

His electricity bill in August was £306.11, but in September this more than doubled to £644.20. In just over a month later a bill of £2,085.16 landed in his inbox. 

Mr Seni has since written a formal complaint to managing director Philippe Commaret about what he claims are ‘unlawful withdrawals’. 

He says the latest payment ‘has resulted in severe financial hardship, leading to missed mortgage repayments and substantial overdraft charges’. 

Artist, writer and broadcaster Grayson Perry CBE found his electricity bill from EDF had jumped from £300 a month to massive £39,000

French energy firm EDF said unusual changes to direct debit amounts can occur when an ‘erroneous meter reading [is] recorded on the system’

In an email to Mr Commaret, seen by MailOnline, Mr Seni says: ‘It is unmoral to siphon customers accounts and send ridiculous high usage bill’s at anytime but pre Christmas it is certainly outrageous.’ 

Another told MailOnline she basically had a nervous breakdown when a £3,400 bill landed on her doorstep leaving her ‘terrified’ to put her heating on for a year. It was later found that EDF owed her £299. 

‘EDF made me think I was going mad,’ she said. ‘They made me fill in a form where I had to list every single appliance in my house – make, model, voltage etc. 

‘That alone took me nearly two days to do to try and convince them I couldn’t be spending that amount of energy and why couldn’t they compare previous energy usage from last year. By their estimates I would have been spending nearly £28 per day.’

Mark Cutler is another who has lodged a complaint after being hit with a £4,700 bill for his three-bed home in Wombourne, South Staffordshire.

He says EDF charged him £2,400 for electricity over a 10-day period in the summer when there wasn’t even anyone in the home. 

‘I have made a complaint and they keep telling me they’re resolving it,’ he said.

‘However, nothing makes sense in their billing process. My ‘smart meter’ has been offline for more than three months, yet they insist they’re getting readings, even though their own engineer says that they can’t be.’ 

MailOnline has contacted EDF for comment. 

** Have you been hit by a massive EDF bill? Please email: [email protected] **

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