Power firm admits compensation errors

A resident of the Machars who was left without power for three days after severe blizzards struck the region in March was shortchanged by ScottishPower over compensation due to a “clerical error”.

Debbie Bradley contacted the Gazette to warn others due for compensation to double-check the amount after ScottishPower admitted getting it wrong with offers to 13 other households in the area.

Mrs Bradley, who lives near Whithorn, received a letter this week from the company saying she was due £81 as compensation for being without power after the snow hit.

But she immediately phoned ScottishPower to dispute the figure stating that it underestimated the time she was off and she was actually due £162 – twice the amount quoted.

Mrs Bradley said: “I told them they had got it wrong but the person I spoke to sounded totally disinterested. I was off from 7am on Friday, March 22, until the evening of Monday 25th. ScottishPower say they pay £27 for the first 24 hours and £27 for every subsequent 12 hours after that, which comes to £162.

“I am concerned that elderly people might not check the total offered and just accept it. There is a lot of poverty in this area and the compensation money due could be very important in some households.”

A spokesperson for ScottishPower said: “We have been looking into this case as it was a human error. The person processing the information typed in the 24th instead of 25th. We have contacted 5500 customers and there have been errors with letters to 14. The 14 customers will get the extra compensation.

“We can only apologise.”

Mid Galloway Councillor Alistair Geddes said: “Scottish Power have not covered themselves in glory. I am trying to arrange a meeting between our MSPs Alex Fergusson and Aileen McLeod and ScottishPower to discuss the frequency and duration of power cuts in Mid-Galloway and to hear customers have had their legal claims for compensation mishandled adds insult to injury.”