Couple ‘feels unsafe’ after British Gas broke into wrong house to remove meter

British Gas entered the home of Dox Docherty and his wife to remove a gas meter, even though the home has no gas supply and the couple do not have an account with the energy company

Dox Docherty says he and his wife are struggling to sleep after British Gas accidentally broke into their home
Dox Docherty says he and his wife are struggling to sleep after British Gas accidentally broke into their home

A couple say they “no longer feel safe” in their own home after British Gas and two debt collectors mistakenly broke into their home for unpaid gas bills.

But Dox Docherty and his wife’s estate in Langley Moor, County Durham, has no gas supply – and it turns out the company had the wrong address.

The couple owns the building, rents out half of it as condominiums and lives in the other half. He says the British gas worker and debt collectors broke into the block of flats on June 8 to remove a gas meter and install a prepayment meter over unpaid bills.

Energy companies are allowed to do this when someone can’t or won’t pay their debt – meaning you can then only use what you paid for.

Dox said: “We own a block of flats next to our property and my wife came out and saw three men walking so she asked them what they were doing. They said they just broke into the house and picked the lock to get in to remove a meter from an apartment in the building.

British Gas has confirmed they broke into the wrong house



“We have no gas or meters in this house, there has been no gas in the building for at least 30 years. They didn’t have a warrant, they had a piece of paper saying they had applied for a warrant and when we asked Briten Gas couldn’t issue a search warrant although they said one was issued.

“I spoke to British Gas on Friday and they confirmed they broke into the wrong house. The service from British Gas was disgusting and the matter is certainly not closed for us.”

The incident has left the couple, who have two children, feeling unsafe in their own home. Dox said: “We can’t sleep, I’m up at 1am, 3am every night. Every time we hear a car door slam, we look out the window.

“We just can’t relax at all, it’s just awful. My wife was so upset and even with the front door locked, we don’t feel safe in our own home now.”

Dox said he posted about the incident on TikTok and said other people came forward to say the same thing happened to them.

Energy companies have the right to force entry to replace a meter with a prepaid meter if a customer fails to pay their bills



He said: “I posted about it on TikTok and it had about 13,000 views and a lot of people comment on it to say the same thing happened to them. This kind of thing happens regularly across the country, it’s so scary.

“This could have been so much worse, it’s just so scary to think about. A woman said a man broke in while she was in bed and standing over her asking for her gas meter. We just don’t want that to happen to anyone else.”

A British Gas spokesman said: “We spoke to Ms Docherty to say we are very sorry for what happened. There was a mix up of addresses of the apartments and this resulted in a visit intended for a different household.

“We have amended our records to ensure this does not happen again and will offer them compensation for the distress this has caused.”

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Fry Electronics Team

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