Energy company billing demolished house

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 18:29 25/06/2014

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Contact Energy has been billing a Christchurch couple for a house that does not exist.

Rachel Barker and Mark Pickering's Port Hills Rd home was damaged in the February 22, 2011, earthquake.

The couple moved soon after and rented out their still-liveable house while waiting for earthquake assessments.

The house was eventually deemed a rebuild and the couple's tenants moved out early this year.

Before the house was demolished, Barker rang Contact Energy and arranged for the power to be disconnected in mid-March.

Builders found the connection still live when they began work.

Since then, Barker and Pickering have been receiving ongoing bills.

Barker said they got a $352 estimated bill for March 17 to April 30, and another one for May 1 to May 30 - when there was no building on the property.

''They keep saying, 'It looks like you are late with your payments'. They are just billing and billing."

Barker tried ringing the company to put the matter straight, but had more than a 30-minute wait.

She instead resorted to emailing - and sent three messages, but to no avail. Barker finally printed out her emails and sent them by post.

Contact Energy rang Barker on Monday after The Press got in touch.

The company's corporate communications manager Shaun Jones said it was sorry ''for the inconvenience of our delay in disconnecting power from the property''.

''We are working with our team to determine why this was delayed and to ensure the disconnection takes place as soon as possible," he said.

"All bills following [Barker's] call to request disconnection in mid-March will be cancelled."

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- The Press

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