GREAT-great-grandmother Beatrice Burke is celebrating after her energy provider agreed not to charge her for an unused gas meter.
The 89-year-old woman received a bill of £13.52 from British Gas for having the meter in her kitchen — despite the fact she has never used any gas.
She was told she would have to pay for the meter until it was removed at the end of March, due to a new charge introduced by British Gas in November last year.
But following a story in The Bolton News the company has now had a change of heart.
When Mrs Burke’s daughter Rosemarie Simmins telephoned British Gas last Wednesday, they told her that her mum would not have to pay a penny for the meter.
Mrs Burke, who lives in sheltered accommodation in Little Lever, has not had gas in her home since she moved there in August, 2011.
She said: “I am very thankful that the right thing has been done. You can’t just sit back and let these companies do something like that to you.
“I’m grateful for the publicity I’ve received — I feel like a superstar.
“My family and friends have all been supportive and I couldn’t have done this without them.”
When she moved into her home, Mrs Burke said she was told she would not need to remove the meter, despite the fact it did not work.
However, after British Gas introduced their new standing charge, Mrs Burke faced the prospect of paying 26p per day for the meter from November until January.
Mrs Simmins said: “When I called British Gas, I told them it was unacceptable and that I’d been to The Bolton News and would do so again if this wasn’t resolved.
“Thankfully, there seems to have been an element of empathy and kindness and the right thing has been done.”
A British Gas spokesman said: “We are very sorry for the worry and inconvenience caused to Mrs Burke by not being able to remove the meter from her home sooner.
“As a gesture of goodwill, we have removed all standing charges on the account.
“We will remove the meter as planned so that Mrs Burke does not receive any further gas bills.”