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It’s hard enough being a tattooist who runs their own shop, but when supposedly dependable agencies like power and gas suppliers beat you down, everything gets a hell of a lot more hectic and difficult.  British tattooist Kevin Bradford learned this the hard way when British Gas dropped him a power bill for £1,422 (USD$2,206). He was understandably not very happy.  Compared to the £40 a month that Bradford typically spends on electricity, this new and downright massive bill certainly wasn’t very logical.

When Bradford called to complain, he was told that the bill was correct and that previous bills he had been issued had actually been under-estimated.  But Bradford knew that there was no way that he ever could have used the amount of power that British Gas was telling him that he had used.

Kevin Bradford

‘Mr Bradford, who has been running his tattoo studio in Church Street, Uckfield, for three years, had the smart meter fitted in the spring.

The meters, which remotely record gas and electricity use, are to be fitted to every home in Britain by the end of 2020.

It is hoped they will help cut energy use as well as put an end to estimated bills.

“British Gas said I had used over 10,000 units in under two months,” said Mr Bradford.

“But my daily usage is three to five units per day on average so it is impossible to use that amount of electricity in that timescale.”‘

Eventually, things started to get ugly when Bradford rightly refused to pay.  He was told that if he did not pay by September 22nd, his studio would be disconnected from further use of power.  Not only that, but British Gas was well prepared to send locksmiths and the police in order to gain entry into Bradford’s studio, should he continue to resist the payment.  Eventually, British Power realised that they had in fact, made a mistake and called off the disconnection as well as issuing a new bill to Bradford.

‘Now the company has apologised for the problems Mr Bradford faced in resolving the issue.

“We are investigating what went wrong in this case as a matter of urgency and will be working with Mr Bradford to achieve a satisfactory outcome,” it said in a statement.’

Glad to see that this is all sorted now, but man, what a headache.

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