Around 30,000 Esure and Sheilas' Wheels insurance customers have been mistakenly billed twice on direct debits this month, but the parent firm has promised to refund all affected policyholders by tomorrow.

Esure Group, which operates the Esure and Shelias' Wheels brands, has been texting and emailing the thousands of car and home insurance customers who make payments at the beginning of the month to warn them a technical glitch has caused two separate payments to be taken out of their bank accounts.

Affected customers should receive a refund for the additional payment by tomorrow (7 April) at the latest, while those who have incurred bank charges (eg, for slipping into an unplanned overdraft) as a result of the IT glitch will be able to claim the money back from the insurer.

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'This has resulted in me not being able to pay another bill'

Some customers noticed yesterday that two payments had been taken from their accounts and took to Twitter to vent their frustration:

Refunds will be paid by tomorrow and additional charges will be reimbursed

Esure has been telling affected customers it will take two to three days before the missing funds are returned to their accounts, but a spokesperson assured that all refunds would be paid by tomorrow.

If you've been hit with a consequential banking charge as a result of Esure's error you'll be able to claim the money back. To do this you should contact the relevant customer service department - Esure can be contacted on 0345 045 1000, Sheilas' Wheels can be contacted on 0345 045 2000.

What does Esure Group say?

A spokesperson said: "We have become aware that an error with our payment system has led to direct debits being taken twice instead of once from a number of our customers.

"This error affected just one overnight batch of payments, but we take it very seriously. We contacted the appropriate customers immediately to apologise to them, and to assure them that a refund will be made to their accounts by Friday.

"We are very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused our customers, whose peace of mind is our primary focus."