TRAINSPOTTING author Irvine Welsh was told to "refrain from swearing" by energy company Shell over a fuel bill row. 

The writer had complained on Twitter that he was struggling to settle the debt because Shell Energy had not sent him the correct details.

He said he had been waiting five hours for the bill details and described the situation as a "f***ing joke".

Welsh was asked to "refrain from swearing" by a staff member from the provider.

Welsh said he can use the language he wants to on Twitter.

The Edinburgh-born author's followers hit out at the exchange with Northern Boy saying Sara from Shell clearly hasn't read any of Welsh's books. 

Environmentally conscious Suzie Smith pointed out that Shell doesn't have the best record when it comes to preventing climate change.