Quest to find power key in Falkirk made Marion cry in frustration

Things were looking bleak for an exhausted 70-year-old resident when she found herself down to 91 pence on her flat’s power meter without any means to top it up.
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Marion Deans, who is being treated for throat cancer, has arthritis in her spine and suffers from diabetes was forced to spend three days, and many hours pounding pavements, hunting for a prepayment key so she could put money on her meter to heat and light her flat in Breton Court, Falkirk which she had just moved into a matter of days before.

She said: “I moved here on February 22 and was with EDF Energy when I was living in Bonnybridge so I made arrangements with them so I hoped that was going to be fine. When I got here I realised it was a key meter and I didn’t have a key to put money in it.”

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So began a nightmare series of phone calls to EDF, Scottish Power and British Gas as Marion tried in vain to come up with a solution and a prepayment key to feed her meter.

As the days went by she started to panic that she would be left with no power in her flat.

“I wasn’t using my washing machine or oven and cooker because they burn more electricity. There should have been a key left for me, but there wasn’t.”

Marion eventually opted for British Gas, but all she got was an automated call when she phoned up asking for an account number which she did not have.

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“I went to a shop in High Station Road and was told they did do the keys but did not have any. Then I was told there was a place in Woodlands so I went there and was told they only did keys for Scottish Power.

“Then I went to a shop in Blinkbonny Road and they told me they did do the keys but they also didn’t have any. By that time I came back home and was actually crying with frustration. The walk from Woodlands to Blinkbonny Road really left me shattered.

“That’s when I rang The Falkirk Herald.”

After the newspaper called British Gas on Marion’s behalf and told them her situation they quickly agreed to sent her out a key. They also passed on a helpful phone number which allowed Marion to bypass the automated phone service and speak to an actual person.

Marion received her key from British Gas last Friday and a list of shops where she can top it up.

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“Things have been fine since then,” she said. “I love my flat and the lovely people who live here.”

According to British Gas the stores near Falkirk’s high flats where people can top up their prepayment keys are High Street News, in Falkirk High Street, Alphavapour, in Callendar Square, and Woodlands Local, in Murray Court.