A PENSIONER got a shock when she received an electricity bill for £14,500 – more than 180 times her usual monthly bill.
Retired childcare worker Pauline Danton, 62, spent five hours on the phone to npower before she managed to convince the utility giant it had messed up.
The massive amount of electricity billed could power her home in Nixon Avenue, Ramsgate, for 15 years.
Mrs Danton said: "I was aghast. If somebody who had worse heart problems than me had got this letter, they would have been really ill. I thought it had to be a mistake.
"In the old days it would have been picked up and the letter wouldn't have left the office. I heard a few women just laugh from the back of the office when I first phoned npower."
The gaffe occurred when the supplier accidentally swapped a previous meter reading with the latest.
Mrs Danton was convinced to move over to npower by a doorstep salesman a year ago.
She said: "I'm absolutely disgusted with them. I told them I'm going to go back to my old supplier."
The grandmother-of-eight suffers from diabetes and heart problems.
She and her carer-fiancé Christopher Landers, 51, live off just £205 a week in pension payments and have to economise on fuel to keep their bills down.
They usually spend about £80 a month on electricity.
Mrs Danton said she is angry that she had to rack up a £20 phone bill before npower accepted the error.
She said: "I found getting in contact with their customer services pretty horrible."
The energy giant said it had reassured Mrs Danton she does not owe this much and would be sending her flowers to say sorry.
An npower spokesman said: "Nobody wants to see a bill of this magnitude landing through their letterbox, even though it's clear it has been sent by mistake."