Plumber praised for invoicing 91-year-old a bill for £0

He has helped thousands of elderly and disabled customers, free of charge

Chelsea Ritschel
Tuesday 17 September 2019 17:12 BST
Plumber invoices elderly customer £0 (Stock)
Plumber invoices elderly customer £0 (Stock)

A plumber has received an outpouring of praise and support after going viral for invoicing a 91-year-old woman £0.

James Anderson, who runs a not-for-profit plumbing company in Burnley, recently fixed the boiler of the elderly customer.

But, rather than charging the woman, who also has acute leukaemia, the plumber wrote on the invoice that there would be “no charge for this lady under any circumstances” and that the company would “be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible”.

A photo of the bill was originally shared on Facebook by the woman’s daughter, Christine Rowland, before it was shared to Twitter, where it has been liked more than 100,000 times.

However, this is not the first time Anderson has come to the aid of an elderly customer, as he founded his company Depher - Disabled & Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Repair - to do just that.

According to Anderson, who started the company in 2017, he wanted to help elderly and disabled people who may be suffering but are worried about asking for help or are unable to afford the costs.

“There are too many elderly and disabled people suffering in silence,” he told the BBC. “they don’t like asking for help. They don’t want to be a burden.

“We take away the burden, the stigma.”

While the business has a crowdfunding page, the plumber said he recently had to lay off two employees.

But despite accruing £8,000 in debts, Anderson says he will continue offering help to those who need it, free of charge.

Anderson, who is originally from Liverpool, also hopes to be able to expand the business in the future, so that no elderly people have to struggle.

“My hope is to get Depher national, in every city and town,” he said.

On social media, Anderson has been praised as a “hero”.

“The world needs more people like this kind man,” one person wrote.

Another tweeted: “This proves there are still good people in the world.”

In response to the support, which Anderson said has been “absolutely global”, he said the job is a “community effort”.

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