Cancelled direct debit. Rude advisor on the phone

So I came here to let everyone know the experience I have had with bulb. I have been with bulb for over 3 years now and never had a problem until quite recently. So we were using around £220pm in gas and electric because we used to have a hot tub, a really old boiler etc.

Anyway we no longer have the hot tub, we have a brand new boiler and new efficient cooker etc. I can see on my usage that I currently use around £110-£140 per month and I was in credit by £98. Bulb were wanting me to increase my direct debit to £304pm which isn’t going to happen.

So I phoned bulb and explained that I am no longer using that much energy and I want my direct debit reduced as the next payment would take me up to £340 in credit nearly. I can’t remember the name of the person I spoke to on the phone but he was very rude, he had no intention of reducing my direct debit despite me using less energy and being in credit.

I then suggested I was going to switch provider there and then and he said I wasn’t allowed. I advised him he can’t stop me as there was no contract etc. He replied “we can stop the new supplier taking you on”. Anyway as I have credit in my account, I don’t want that to disappear. I also said in that case can you switch me onto paying on receipt of statement. He said bulb doesn’t do that.

So I have now cancelled my direct debit and I will pay the statement amount each month regardless of how much it is. I don’t need to build up credit so I can afford my bills, that credit would be far more useful in my account than in a company that is clearly struggling at the moment. I got my latest statement this morning and to no surprise it was £136 and not the £296 bulb is estimating I’m using. So my advise would be if you’re direct debits are going up and up. Just cancel it and pay what you owe each month.

The worrying thing about bulb is Martin Lewis called them atrocious and said that bulb along with other energy companies were increasing customers payments to help THEIR cash flow. Not with my money you ain’t.

Bulb please sort this out. I have been a loyal customer for over 3 years and would like to stay with you but you aren’t making that easy at the moment.



They did the same with me, even tho my acc was in credit. So I said I did not want to subsidise their cash flow, and that my clients only pay me when the work is done. As I said they should be more worried about going bust than me not paying my bill. I will give regular meter readings and to make sure my account is in balance. Ian


Hello , Robbstech , I watch Martin Lewis and he said that above all else be nice to the employees at energy companies . They are in a difficult position of being helpful on the phones but , under stressful situations of losing there jobs . Sometimes it’s hard dealing with difficult situations on the phones and stress can be awful on these employees / people . Sometimes people don’t even realise how horrible they can be in these situations . Once the phone called has ended do people realise how offensive they have been and only then do the employees calm down . Let’s just hope the person you spoke to is not like that to all customers . These employees are doing an impossible job given the circumstances they face . I hope that this comment does not offend you and I’m not saying your a difficult person to deal with . Just understand that everyone at BULB is on edge at the moment and this is energy crisis is worrying for everyone who is employ by BULB .:+1:


Hi there, I have the exact same problem with Bulb at the moment.
I was paying £65 per month and now they want to charge me £93, even though I have paid my credit balance off which is now to £0. My average use of energy is £53pm (I made the numbers) but they insist it is £74.
I was chatting with an operator on the phone and after a long conversation he agreed on reducing my monthly payment back to £65. He obviously lied because I check next day with my bank and the next payment of my direct debit was set up to £93. I have cancelled my direct debit and want to make monthly payments of £65.
Unfortunately I can’t see in the app how to make a payment if it is not with direct debit? Any advice on how to do this?
Many thanks.

As for the Bulb team - I feel quite sad that they have deal with an influx of customers asking about the DD increases, the prices have increased on the 1st of October in line with the price cap but issues like my smart commissioning and my complaint regarding this have been left behind for over a month now. Luckily, I finally got someone at Bulb to finally comission the gas meter :slight_smile:

When the bill is generated - I usually pay the debit off, there’s a button that lets you pay via card.

I haven’t yet received any bill increase luckily as we use the same amount of energy throughout the whole year, but I am not happy that we were rejected to switch to British Gas because we had half-hourly meter readings.

I am currently raising a complaint against British Gas as I reckon they do not want offer me the tariff price before the crisis as apparently they can switch me now when it is £100 extra month - I don’t think so (!!)

Hi Elena , At the top of the community page is the help and support section with the logo above it . If you press on the help and support . Then scroll down the page to " help Articles -Payments and Referrals " . Under that heading is the section that explains how you can pay your energy bill . There are four different way to pay . Cheque , B.A.C.S , post office , standing order. Hope this helps :+1:


Hey @Robbstech and welcome to the community :wave:

I am really sorry to hear you haven’t had a great experience with us. This is not the service we aim to provide to our members and for that I apologise. I would be happy to listen back to the call, and send feedback to the relevant parties.

As we take payment in advance, your most recent payment will be going towards your next statement of usage rather than paying off your previous statement. For this reason we need to take your account balance at the time of the last statement and this is the account balance that we calculate your monthly payments from. There is a recent community thread that discusses how we calculate your payments for payment reviews and why we do this: How Bulb Calculates Your Payments

You are always able to switch to another supplier, which is why we don’t charge exit fees, or hold you to fixed term contracts. I’m not sure why the opposite was advised. Obviously we don’t want you to leave us, however we do understand that you need to do what’s best for you.

Cancelling your direct debit can cause serious problems further down the line so we certainly don’t recommend this. This is a great help article which explains why a direct debit should always be active on your account: Cancelling or changing your Direct Debit

I hope this has helped but please let us know if you have any more questions.

– Robyn :bulb:

Thanks for you reply. I had no choice but to cancel my direct debit as the amount requested was way more than I am currently using and I simply can’t afford the amount bulb was requesting. I just can’t justify sending nearly 2.5x the amount I am using to you when it will be far more useful in my account.

If you can calculate a much fairer amount then I will happily reinstate my direct debit because like I said in my original message, I am no longer using that much energy anymore. I don’t have a hot tub, we have a brand new more efficient boiler etc.

Until this is rectified, I will just make sure as soon as my statement comes in, I will make topup payments to my account so that it never goes into debit. My last statement was £136 which is way less than the £240 my direct debit was set to and even less than the £304pm your app wanted me to increase my payments to which made me phone for help in the first place.

I will remain a bulb customer for now because I feel this may be a problem wherever you go because of the crisis. But if you wouldn’t mind having a look at my direct debit amount and take my last 3 statements into account, that would be awesome.



Hey Rob,
After reading various threads on here including yours I have also today cancelled my Direct debit as I use half of what I’m paying and it makes far more sense to me to pay upon bill receipts once my credit of just over £170 is used.
Times are very tough and I Really feel for everyone at the mercy of energy suppliers.
It’s not fair to overcharge us for energy we are not using.

Pay as you go is definitely the best way forward for me for now

1 Like

Thanks for your reply.

Make sure you email them to let them know you have cancelled your direct debit as per their terms and conditions and that you no longer want to build up a credit. I did this and they emailed me back quite quickly stating I will have 5 working days from when I receive my statement to pay it in full. Absolutely fine by me.


Hi @Robbstech

I’m glad you are satisfied with your payments going forward, if you wanted any more help with this please let us know.

@melaniecorday - Welcome to community :wave:

The thread that Robyn shared provides a really useful insight as to how we calculate your payments.

If you did want to pay on receipt of your statement, we can set your direct debit up so it functions in that way, but would obviously mean that your payments would fluctuate month by month.

Please let me know if you would like me to set this up for you

Ele :bulb:

They lied to me for about 5 months, then I just cancelled my direct debit and I now pay by bank transfer. This is the only way to keep Bulb’s greedy little fingers out of your bank account. I’ll never trust them again, and I’ll never use direct debit with such crooked companies. If you don’t cancel your direct debit Bulb will continue to steal your money, simple as that!

I’m amazed you managed to get them to answer the phone! How many hours were you on hold?

I’ve also canceled my DD because I was told, “The computer says no!” when I insisted my DD amount wasn’t more than doubled to nearly £300. I have solar panels (although you wouldn’t know it for the difference it makes to my bill) so haven’t got a smart meter. I put my readings in regularly usually but I forgot in April. When I got around to sending in my readings I realised two of the three were significantly lower and the third was lower but closer to the estimate given 5 weeks earlier! In the past I’m sure putting in readings generated a bill or a review of the previous charge but I’ve twice now had to put in a request for the amounts to be adjusted. I’m going away in the Summer for over 2 months so I’ll use next to nothing, as was regular pre Covid but this year I will be estimated on lockdown usage from last year. I rang to try to negotiate to pay just the standing charge rather than over-estimated charges until I get back but all I heard was, “Can’t be done, can’t be done,” and “Well, if you don’t like it you’re welcome to go and see if you can find another company but they won’t do it either.” I know I can’t move right now as no-one will take us. If you ask to speak to a manager you either have the phone put down on you or are told no-one is available and they will raise a complaint even if that isn’t why you want to speak to a manager. The revised bills and statements corrections have no rhyme or reason to them so I don’t know if I’m coming or going. I’ve been a customer for a long time but I would be off in a heartbeat if I could. My cynicism is only outdone by Bulb raising the cost of their already in place RENEWABLE energy to just below the price cap, which never applied to RENEWABLE energy in the first place. :woman_facepalming:t3::face_with_symbols_over_mouth: