HUFFINGTON POST
10/19/2012 04:33 pm ET Updated Oct 22, 2012

Pauline Danton, British Retiree, Receives $23,000 Electric Bill From Npower

Max Evans

Pauline Danton normally spends around $130 each month on her electric bill.

But the British retiree's latest bill weighed in at a whopping $23,000 -- enough, reports the Isle of Thanet Gazette, to power her home for the next 15 years.

Danton's electric utility is Npower, a company responsible for supplying about 10% of England's energy. While the company's electric rates are facing an 9.1% increase, that hardly explains her own bill's sudden 17,500% leap.

"I was aghast," Denton told This Is Kent. "If somebody who had worse heart problems than me had got this letter, they would have been really ill."

After spending hours on the phone (resulting in another outlandish bill), Npower relented, and acknowledged her bill was a fluke.

"Nobody wants to see a bill of this magnitude landing through their letterbox, even though it's clear it has been sent by mistake," explained an Npower spokesman in an email to The HuffPost. "We have reassured Pauline that she certainly doesn't owe this much and will be sending some flowers to say sorry."

Npower further stated the bill had resulted from a "system error," not a "human error."

Hey, it could've been worse: a French woman recently received a $15 quadrillion phone bill, equivalent to 6,000 times larger than France's own 2011 GDP.

And it's not just Europe that suffers these problems. Similar billing mistakes happen in the U.S., too.

In June, a woman from Abilene, Texas, was accidentally charged $1.4 million on an electric bill. The real insult, though? The company also tagged on a $66,000 fee for not paying on time.

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