Just not funny anymore...... — Bulb Community

Just not funny anymore......

Like many many other users I have been let down by the Smart Meter roll out carried out by Bulb, since installation (March 2019) i have had a Gas usage output only to my IHD, right up until Friday of this week when magically the electric readings burst into life and for a brief glorious period i had the full product offering that a Smart Meter promised. When after two days it went back to Gas only it felt like a right of passage, one that lots and lots of other users have been through, i actually found it funny and settled back to life with just the single reading. But then it stopped being funny, as mentioned in previous posts I have not had a bill for my energy usage since the Smart meter was installed, as a result my account was over £500 in credit and they were suggesting that i reduce my monthly payment down. Having full smart capability must have triggered something in the back end billing system as i finally received a bill, however, and without any explanation, the bill was based on my usage from the day i joined in 2017, it was very high level , no detail just a summary of readings (all the same date) and a summary of payments i have made, the end result was that my £500 credit is now £24 credit. The invoice does not show any credits from the new customers i have introduced, and basically it is impossible for me to check if the numbers are correct or not. I have absolutely no faith that the Bulb team have got it right but i am supposed to just accept it, when i complained the response from Bulb Help is shown below. To me this looks like Bulb telling me that because they screwed up the install of my Smart Meter then i have to spend goodness knows how long checking through 2 years of my energy account!!!!! this is simply not acceptable, and to rub salt into the wounds i think i am now stuck with Bulb.

Iustin (Bulb Help)
May 16, 13:23 BST
Hi Paul,

I am so sorry for the trouble.

We were missing the meter details and therefore could not generate a bill.

In your Bulb account you are able to see a comprehensive statement for the whole time you have been with us. It includes the meter readings, the amount of energy used and the payments made.

Your account is £26.74 in credit, so all good.

Kind regards,
Iustin

Comments

  • I had smart meters installed in Mid March and I have been receiving estimated meter readings ever since. i can no longer submit meter readings via the app. I've complained numerous times and been fobbed off every time with excuses. I shall be swapping supplier unless this is resolved very soon. I would advise anyone to avoid bulb smart meters
  • I had smart meters installed in Mid March and I have been receiving estimated meter readings ever since. i can no longer submit meter readings via the app. I've complained numerous times and been fobbed off every time with excuses. I shall be swapping supplier unless this is resolved very soon. I would advise anyone to avoid bulb smart meters

    Its so frustrating as we are not asking for anything special, just the basics really... billing, working App and thats it.
  • I had smart meters installed in Mid March and I have been receiving estimated meter readings ever since. i can no longer submit meter readings via the app. I've complained numerous times and been fobbed off every time with excuses. I shall be swapping supplier unless this is resolved very soon. I would advise anyone to avoid bulb smart meters</blockquote


    They are failing to read my smart meter ! I am on the same boat. Getting fed up with this nonsense

  • The good news is that my IHD has started working this morning, be really good to know if this was just luck or if the Bulb Team had actually done anything, as it happens they seem to have been maintaining radio silence, since the initial email i have had no contact from anyone. Lets hope the IHD stays working and lets hope that my bill is sorted out
  • I knew i spoke to soon, the IHD has now stopped working, and as yet i have still had no contact from Customer service. It seems that you get a quicker response if you leave feedback on https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/bulb.co.uk
  • edited May 22
    Hi @paul2241, we're sorry that you've had to wait a while for a follow up response from Bulb.

    As soon as Bulb have been able to fix your IHD, we'll let you know by sending you an email. We managed to bulk solve 1000 cases of faulty IHDs last weekend, and we're hoping to fix the rest very soon. Unfortunately, solving the issues in bulk is not an easy job, but our developers are very close to getting this sorted.

    I would recommend adding yourself to this list of IHDs that require a fix, if you haven't done so already.

    We are really sorry for the confusion surrounding your billing. It took us a few months to receive the technical information about your new smart meters from our engineers. This information tells us how to bill the meter e.g. one rate or two rate - without it we can't issue any statements.

    Bulb still took payments during this period, to ensure that there wasn't a build up of debt. This is why you started to see a large amount of credit on your account.

    You can see all of the readings that we've used to bill you from your online account. If you'd like a further break down of this, just respond to my email and I'd be happy to discuss that.



    EDIT:

    I think it's also important to mention that leaving a review on Trustpilot, does not result in a faster response to your query. Feedback is really important to Bulb - but we place equal value in every channel of communication; phone, email, chat, social, Trustpilot and Community.

    Trustpilot is a great opportunity to hear what our members like, and dislike, allowing us to build a service around you. If you have a problem that needs solving, the best thing to do is get in touch via phone or email - as we'll need your Bulb Account details to investigate the issue.

    Or... just give us a shout over here on Community! We've got a team of experienced Energy Specialists joining Community this week, who are looking forward to answering all of your questions and concerns.
  • After 10 days of waiting for the so called fix I've now been told that my gas meter wasn't commissioned by the installer!!
    Now I've got to wait for an appointment for an engineer to commission the meter!!
    What an absolute joke of a company!!!
  • Hi @Johno,

    Whilst it's technically Bulb's responsibility, it wasn't actually their fault. Bulb (like practically all other power companies outside the 'Big Six' who can afford a big engineering staff around the country) outsource their on-site engineers to companies like Siemens. It'll be the Siemens engineer who installed your meter who didn't commission it.

    Yes, Bulb could have their own engineering staff (instead of 'sharing' engineers), but that'll involve training them up on the various different things they'll need to work with, ensuring they have sufficient staff in appropriate locations around the country and then ensuring they have sufficient work - and if Bulb have a dozen customers in a 30 mile radius (quite possible in remote locations like Scotland), then once they've installed the meters (if the customers want them), then the engineer will be sitting around possible for a few years without anything to do - all whilst pulling in a salary+training costs+van costs from Bulb customer bills... So, yes, it works out cost-effective for Bulb to out-source (and, yes, even 'in-house' engineers could make a mistake like this), but does mean Bulb can miss a level of 'oversight'.
  • Update. William was kind enough to provide me with a lot of information regarding my account and i have now find the time to go through this, as previously stated, I never really expected to devote so much of my own spare time to sorting out my energy account. It seems that when my Smart Meter was installed the Engineer did not send the old readings ( or potentially sent the wrong one) neither did he record it and leave me with a copy, this coupled to the fact that no smart readings have been returned by the smart meter means that my account is basically best guess. I am sure Bulb appreciate that this is not good service and i will wait to see how they are going to put it right.
    In the meantime my IHD has worked for 3 days maximum, then it either sits there waiting for data on both services or i get full gas data and the waiting for costs message for my electric. Like a lot of other other Bulb users i am "locked in" as they have my money and i suspect my account is in such a mess that no other company would take me on.

    @William at Bulb fully accept your Trustpilot comments, however, if i look at the dates that negative feedback was left and how quickly you guys respond i really do think you focus on those first. I have not left any feedback there, it was more a statement of my utter frustration.

    @RichyB Sorry but i have to disagree with your comments, Bulb would have engaged a 3rd Party and would have set all sorts of SLA's for service, any of these that fall short should not surface to a customer, in fact we should not even care that it has been outsourced.
  • @paul2241 thanks for posting this. I've recently discovered that the same thing has happened on my account. I've had my entire account rolled back to Summer 2017, and then rolled forward again. There's no traceability, so I don't have any confidence in the accuracy of Bulb'd billing either.

    I also don't seem to have a working Electric meter because it's not submitting readings, even through gas is working. I don't have your IHD problem, because they still haven't delivered mine despite being promised it in March.
  • @arcing your right the lack of traceability is very concerning, i really want to support new companies who are trying to challenge the old guard but focus on getting the basics right. My guess is they will offer me £10 goodwill gesture and as i will have no chance of checking i will just have to accept it. If this does happen i think i will have to go to https://www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/energy to try and get some resolution, annoyingly i pushed to go on the smart meter program as reading my meter is a faff, wish i had just kept quiet now.
  • @paul2241, if they don't have a switchover meter reading, then unless they can physically get one from the old meter, I'm pretty sure they're not allowed to guess, and have to use the last non-estimated reading.

    My old meter stopped counting up before my smart meter installation, and although they had a reading to enter (the same one it had been for a few months before that) it's basically the same situation.
  • RichyB
    I can understand that engineers can't wait about in just one area,but the engineer who installed my meters lives four miles away from me.
    Since my last post,my daughter,who I regret getting her to switch to Bulb, has had numerous emails saying that engineers are in the area fitting smart meters and they could fit them for her. She lives one hundred yards from me!!!
  • Hi @mowcius , the support team have been in touch with me and they have offered a pragmatic solution to my problem with incorrect readings, fingers crossed for your issue.

    @Johno like you i have also held back from recommending bulb to friends and family, mainly due to the embarrassment it would cause if they ended up like me. I feel i have been a bit ranty with the bulb staff and was intent on carrying on that way, however i read an article in the guardian that led me to the Glass door reviews, it seems like the Team challenged with dealing with our issues are not having the best of times either so i will try and be a bit more understanding, basically all i want is to not thinbk about my Energy supplier, it should be in the background. Have a look at the glass door reviews https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/Bulb-Reviews-E1498482.htm
  • paul2241 said:
    Wow, what an amazing site! Thanks for the link. I'm going to be looking up lots of companies :+1:

    Those reviews explain a lot, and confirm many of my suspicions.
  • edited June 13
    @Hooloovoo, amazed you've not seen that one before. I always like to check there before I work with or for any company.

    As people are forced to write something about their former/current employers in order to view the whole site (after an initial trial period), I think that makes it a bit more balanced than some of the other websites around where people only ever go on to complain.
  • mowcius said:

    @Hooloovoo, amazed you've not seen that one before. I always like to check there before I work with or for any company.

    I've worked for one company for so long now that I've not had reason to look around.
  • We’ve installed smart meters for 24,000 members since February. At least 7,000 people have reported an issue since then.........

    Nice of them to admit it but if I ran a project like that at work when nearly a third of the rollouts are reporting problems my feet wouldnt touch the floot.... Bulb is in danger of their reputation being in tatters

  • And if I just tried to say oh well it wasnt me guv it would be an even quicker exit. You are the supplier Bulb and you have to take the rap.
  • balbs said:

    We’ve installed smart meters for 24,000 members since February. At least 7,000 people have reported an issue since then.........

    Nice of them to admit it but if I ran a project like that at work when nearly a third of the rollouts are reporting problems my feet wouldnt touch the floot.... Bulb is in danger of their reputation being in tatters

    Agreed, and I'm a supporter of Bulb.

    Questions would have been asked by my very senior managers in my pre retirement job and would have been told to reassess the situation.

    Other than presumably having to meet the targets agreed with OFGEM and any contractual agreement with Siemens I would have suggested to my senior managers that we suspend further installation until we were well on the way to clearing the backlog on non working installations and confident that the actual cause of the problems had been identified and a fix in place.
  • Hi @Johno, good news - we've been able to re-commission your gas meter so that we can take smart readings remotely. Your next statement will show your exact usage for the month.

    Thank you for raising the issue regarding engineer availability. We appreciate this must be confusing for you and your daughter. Although living in close proximity to one another normally means that you can both book a smart meter installation, there are rare cases where people live right on the edge of a weak signal zone. We'd love to get a definite answer for you and book an installation for your daughter if we can - I've sent you an email so we can investigate this further, as well as work on getting your IHD re-connected.
  • Hi @arcing, after your smart installation, a bug in our billing system consolidated all of your statements. This means that your previous statements were combined to show your total usage since joining us. We're sorry about that. We understand it's unhelpful. We've put things right now and it's important to know we haven't changed any meter readings and you'll only ever pay for energy you use. You can see all of your readings in your Bulb Account. Our smart team have also fixed the bug for future installations so other members won't experience this issue.

    We are currently receiving smart readings from your electricity meter, but we aren't able to add them to our billing system. This means we aren't able to use these readings to generate your bill. This is technical issue that our smart team are aware of and are working hard to fix. In the meantime, please submit meter readings via email and we'll add them to your account manually. I've already manually added a recent reading for you, and have been in touch on email with you on this. We'll also be sending an IHD as soon as we have more in stock. We know your smart experience with Bulb has been poor so far. We're really looking forward to getting these things sorted for you.
  • @paul2241 - We'd like to resolve any remaining billing and IHD concerns you have and we've been in touch by email to help on that. Thanks also for your concern for the team here at Bulb. We share this concern. We’ve scaled the team at Bulb to over 400 people in four years. This speed of growth brings challenges which we’re experiencing at the moment. It’s recently become clear that some of the things that work when you’re a small team don’t work so well when you’re a team of 400+ people. So we’re concentrating hard on what we can do to continue to build a great place to work, alongside delivering a great member experience. We'd be happy to share more on this plan if you're interested. It’s great that we have members who care about the team here at Bulb. We aim to prove that we’re worthy of that care.
  • paul2241 said:

    Like many many other users I have been let down by the Smart Meter roll out carried out by Bulb, since installation (March 2019) i have had a Gas usage output only to my IHD, right up until Friday of this week when magically the electric readings burst into life and for a brief glorious period i had the full product offering that a Smart Meter promised. When after two days it went back to Gas only it felt like a right of passage, one that lots and lots of other users have been through, i actually found it funny and settled back to life with just the single reading. But then it stopped being funny, as mentioned in previous posts I have not had a bill for my energy usage since the Smart meter was installed, as a result my account was over £500 in credit and they were suggesting that i reduce my monthly payment down. Having full smart capability must have triggered something in the back end billing system as i finally received a bill, however, and without any explanation, the bill was based on my usage from the day i joined in 2017, it was very high level , no detail just a summary of readings (all the same date) and a summary of payments i have made, the end result was that my £500 credit is now £24 credit. The invoice does not show any credits from the new customers i have introduced, and basically it is impossible for me to check if the numbers are correct or not. I have absolutely no faith that the Bulb team have got it right but i am supposed to just accept it, when i complained the response from Bulb Help is shown below. To me this looks like Bulb telling me that because they screwed up the install of my Smart Meter then i have to spend goodness knows how long checking through 2 years of my energy account!!!!! this is simply not acceptable, and to rub salt into the wounds i think i am now stuck with Bulb.

    Iustin (Bulb Help)
    May 16, 13:23 BST
    Hi Paul,

    I am so sorry for the trouble.

    We were missing the meter details and therefore could not generate a bill.

    In your Bulb account you are able to see a comprehensive statement for the whole time you have been with us. It includes the meter readings, the amount of energy used and the payments made.

    Your account is £26.74 in credit, so all good.

    Kind regards,
    Iustin

    Should you really be publishing people's utility bill personal financial situation on an open forum?
  • dcweather said:

    Should you really be publishing people's utility bill personal financial situation on an open forum?

    I think you've misunderstood. Paul (the OP) published his own utility bill personal financial situation.

    But hey, Bulb send my full postal address via plain text email, so who cares about an account balance on a forum anyway? :s
  • Hi @Hooloovoo i did indeed post the original email, i felt it important so the forum could see what was going on. Similar to @arcing i have also had a rolled up bill, i queried it and was given another figure, this actually took me into deficit despite the readings being lower. @William at Bulb and @Chris at Bulb have sent long and detailed emails that probably explain why i now owe them money for being totally pissed around fopr the last 6 months but i dont have the time, effort or sheer will to even open them. I am waving the white flag and will go to the Ombudsman in the hope that Bulb learn a lesson. I can , hand on heart, now understand why people stay with the big 6. I love a start up but you have to get the basics right and then build on that.
  • Thanks for all these comments after reading everything I will cancel my contract. I wish I had seen these first as I would probably have not entertained the thought of joining this company.
  • I was happy with Bulb before they installed my smart meter, now however my smart meter doesn't seem to give Bulb readings, I still have to do that, yet they keep on changing my bill for different periods, looking at my statement it's a mess full or credit notes and then other debits etc it's so hard to keep track to see if they've actually taken the correct amount. I also didn't realize that when they fitted my smart meter then the dial would be pushed back to 0 but no one told me to check the previous meter reading before that and I don't have a lot of trust/confidence with the guy from Siemens they sent. Next to try Octopus I suppose. Disappointed.
  • Hi @GrahamL Definitely worth looking at the ombudsman option, i am through it all now, they have admitted mistakes and i have been refunded so now feel free to move away.
  • GrahamL said:

    Next to try Octopus I suppose. Disappointed.

    Lol Octopus, you’ll be back here soon then. Maybe you should try contacting bulb and resolving your issues before throwing your toys out the pram.
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