Family left with no gas for fortnight brand £30 goodwill gesture 'a joke'
A GRANDMOTHER who looks after her disabled grandson was left without heating for two weeks after she had a problem with her meter.
Three engineers from British Gas were called out to Patsy Royle's Ilkeston home, but each time the problem was not rectified.
During that time, her five-month-old grandson, Tyler, who is disabled and has respiratory problems, had to go to hospital.
When he returned home, there was still no heating.
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Mrs Royle, 49, said: "Having a cold house is terrible for him. You can't keep him wrapped up, because he can't breathe, but he can't be cold because that is really bad for him as well."
Mrs Royle, who also lives with son Joe, 23 and daughter Sarah, 22, in Hornbeam Close, first called the company on January 2 because she had no gas.
She said: "They told me I needed to buy another pre-payment card as the one I had wasn't working properly."
Mrs Royle bought another card but that also did not work.
An engineer visited her home later that day to change the meter.
Mrs Royle was told to purchase a new card, which she did – but it did not solve the problem.
Two more engineers visited over the next fortnight, each time to check the meter.
In the meantime, Mrs Royle was given emergency credit by British Gas. But the credit did not last long because of how cold the house was and how much gas was needed to get it warm again.
Mrs Royle said: "My grandson Tyler came out of hospital on January 6 but went back in again three days later because he stopped breathing.
"He has respiratory problems as well as hypertonia, which means he has really weak muscles."
The problem with the gas supply was finally fixed on Monday, January 14. Mrs Royle has since been offered £30 in a goodwill payment.
But she said the money was "a joke", adding: "For them to offer me that after all the trouble I had is pathetic."
A spokeswoman for British Gas, said: "I am very sorry that Mrs Royle has had problems following the exchange of her meter.
"When the meter was installed we should have given Mrs Royle a new meter card.
"Unfortunately this did not happen and she could not put credit on her account.
"We tried to resolve the problem by asking her to collect a blank card from her local store, with an access number. Unusually this did not work. In the meantime, we have been providing Mrs Royle with emergency credit on her meter.
"We have apologised to Mrs Royle for the problems she has faced, have offered her a £30 goodwill payment and wiped the £25 of emergency credit supplied."