Anyone else confused by Bulbs billing methods?

Despite regular submitted readings, I had one bill in June, then June credited in July and billed for two months, then that bill credited in August and billed for three months! So to work out that months gas and electric cost breakdown, you have to get the calculator out!
Great company, but very strange billing system.

Hiya @PaulMC12345 - I’m sorry we’ve been having some billing issues - we will consolidate a bill if we get information that means the previous one was obviously incorrect - I can see we had to re-do this once to take into account your updated reads, but we’ll be doing our best to make sure you don’t continue to get bills of multiple time periods in it so that you can more accurately track your usage on a monthly basis.

Hi, I’ve also had this problem this month. I’ve had to spend the time to get in touch with you by webchat and then by phone. It appeared I’d been billed for June to August when I’d already been billed for June to July. I’m happy now it’s clear that I’ve been credited for the first month and then rebilled but I’m really unhappy with the bills I’ve received/the lack of communication about why this happened. The only explanation I had over the phone was that my first payment had been credited back to me ‘for some reason’. As you can appreciate it was quite alarming to think I’d been charged double for one month, and it’s also wasted both my time and that of your staff. It also looks a bit dubious from a record-keeping perspective and that there was no explanation of the manual corrections on my bill.

Hi @davidalanlittle We know this can be annoying, and we are working to communicate this better with our members in the future, this is almost always to do with us receiving new readings, and this should have been communicated better to you

I haven’t had billing problems per se but I have seen some things that look a little wonky and may need adjustment, unless they’re artefacts of me only having been signed up for a little under a year so far.

EG my gas use has been very low over the past three months - one or two units per month each time - but the estimated figure that rolls in like clockwork regardless of whether I submit a direct reading or not seems to estimate an arbitrary amount (ignoring actual seasonally-biased usage; my boiler is used almost exclusively for heating, the shower is electric pending a possible future change to operating directly off the gas, and those 1 or 2 units represent the very limited hot water I otherwise use), and adds that onto the previous estimate rather than the previous actual reading. So currently the estimate is leaping further and further ahead of the actual figure… which wouldn’t be too bad but it still counts as units charged to my account.

Not sure if the electricity is doing the same or correctly predicting using the previous actual reading and actual usage, because the estimates are tracking much closer to actual use either by luck or design. Thankfully it sort of balances the gas at the moment as my actual use is a little ahead of estimate (no holiday so far this year, in fact I’ve been at home out of work quite a bit) so the extra I’ve been billed for gas is roughly the same as what I haven’t been billed for electricity. Both parts of the bill being based off the estimate rather than actual readings…

Also, the preset DD amount doesn’t seem to have undergone any automatic adjustment taking account of the long hard winter, and the greater usage (mostly gas but also some electric) resulting from that. I’ve notched mine up deliberately by a few pounds a month because the difference between bill and payment didn’t seem anywhere near great enough to even clear the shortfall before the coming winter, let alone get ahead of it at all, and even now it’s looking a bit sketchy (I’m still probably two months away from my account being in credit - but it wouldn’t have got there before 2019 without the manual adjustment). If any more than a small minority of other customers are also experiencing similar (with or without realising it), you guys could be looking at a significant hole in the accounts with a lot of customers unwittingly falling even deeper into arrears over winter 2018/19.

Hopefully it’s not the same kind of wonky maths that I experienced for a few years with EDF and never resolved to any satisfaction even after my first account was closed and a whole new one opened to try and clear the bugs. They simply couldn’t calculate their way out of a wet paper bag, and worse still any manual change I implemented never stuck. After a few months I was inevitably left with a sizeable deficit which they would then decide to call in all at once, usually right after I’d paid a bunch of other large bills and had no float left in the bank.

You’re definitely not doing anywhere near as bad as they were, the shortfall is only on the order of 10% or so rather than a good third or more, and the manual change has been accepted and kept to, which earns a fair bit of goodwill all by itself. But if it’s a deliberate tactic to make your bills look lower and overall more attractive to customers, rather than a simple oversight or a glitch in the system, be warned that it will come back to bite with far more negative PR than any positive it might have generated when you either have to start calling in the arrears in-toto, or massively jacking up a lot of people’s monthly bills

@Markp Really appreciate your feedback. When we work out payments using estimated readings we rely on calculations about your property provided to us by a third party (this is called your EAC - you can see yours in your Bulb account under Account and Tariff info. This is the same figure all energy suppliers use). The best way for your EAC to accurately reflect your real usage is to submit meter readings often (it will adjust each time you do this). Hope this helps