An Isle of Man Energy customer has had just under £65,000 wrongly withdrawn in direct debit by the company.

Gloria Ver Elst received a call from her bank alerting her to a total of £64,601.19 being taken from her account.

She felt the error had impacted her trust in the company.

‘I don’t understand how such big companies can make such bad mistakes,’ she said.

‘I don’t trust any of the big companies to get it right anymore. This one is a big one and it makes no difference, they’ve still made the mistake.

‘I’ll be checking my direct debit every month now.’

She wanted to warn others of the dangers of not checking their financial statements and bills.

Ms Ver Elst, who lives in Douglas and banks with HSBC, added: ‘People need to be checking their bills to see what Isle of Man Energy is doing.

‘I only found out when a lady from the bank called me and she alerted me to an unusual amount that had been withdrawn by Isle of Man Energy.

‘She obviously wanted to check it was correct because it was such a large amount.

‘I’ve got everything on direct debit so now I can’t trust direct debits with them, that’s ridiculous.’

She was told she would be reimbursed within 24 to 48 hours, which Ms Ver Elst described as ridiculous because the company didn’t do it instantly.

This comes after Isle of Man Energy, formerly Manx Gas, has been issuing incorrect bills since it upgraded its billing system in October last year.

It has received a number of complaints from customers and, more recently, the chair of the Office of Fair Trading told Tynwald he would be prepared to take tougher action against the company over the issue.

Just the day before the money was withdrawn from Ms Ver Elst’s account, the Isle of Man Examiner’s main front-page headline was ‘Fury as gas bill chaos goes on and on’.

Isle of Man Energy’s chief executive, Jo Cox, said that the upgrade to the company’s billing system was intended to make it easier for customers to understand their bills and manage their accounts and added that the issue had been resolved.

The company is now working through a backlog of complaints.

‘Not only did they have these previous technical problems, they also have manual problems now,’ Ms Ver Elst said.

‘Thank goodness I didn’t experience another botched bill from them but I need to check my bills again.’

A spokesperson for Isle of Man Energy said the company was aware of the issue.

They said: ‘We have offered our most sincere apologies to the customer in question and made sure that we refunded the sum on the same day that we were notified about the issue.

‘We have reviewed how the issue occurred and can confirm that this is not a technical or software error but a manual process that was incorrectly followed.

‘We have taken the opportunity to put additional checks and balances in place to ensure that these errors are captured and prevented from happening again.’