BRITISH Gas has apologised after a customer was told her outstanding bill had hit £32,000.

Pensioner Maggie Tuttle, from Carlingford Drive, Westcliff , said she was told of the whopping charge by the company over the phone.

Mrs Tuttle, 68, said: “It was unbelievable. I was put through to a call centre in South Africa or somewhere and this guy was saying I owed them £32,000. I tried to explain there was no way but he was adamant. What on earth do they think I was doing with the electricity to get a bill like that?”

A spokeswoman for British Gas said: “We’ve apologised to Mrs Tuttle for giving her incorrect information over the phone. We’ve confirmed the correct amount outstanding on the account, and sent an updated bill.”