I raised the issue by email more than a week ago, because Webchat hasn’t even brought up a box to begin a discussion.
Today I realised that customer services are providing some individual replies on these boards. So here’s hoping.
My position is being notified of an automatic c. 45% increase in monthly direct debit, but with a ‘minimum’ c. 30% higher. Unlike some I have not gamed the payment in advance system, generally having a month’s usage as credit on the statement date - which is the same date the DD is taken, typically putting me two months of summer/autumn usage in credit.
The ‘projection’ algorithm is evidently terrible. The ‘energy usage’ bar chart shows higher amounts than I have been charged so far this year… possibly a ‘correction’ reflecting the forthcoming price increase? However, it is also currently showing that I am predicted to always use less than the automatic DD set for this winter!
I know that that will not be the case, because it will be winter, but not by how much, because there could be a severe freezing spell or barely any frosty days. I have actually offered a 10% voluntary DD increase, but have had no response.
I find it insulting to be told I am a ‘risky’ customer that has to have their payments automatically ‘managed’ to avoid running up a debt. I am both willing and able to ‘top up’ to cover my extra winter usage as it occurs.
This is exactly the sort of high-handed exploitation that drove me away from other suppliers; I do not find it helpful or convenient to build up credit with utilities that hold it as ‘savings’ for me on inflated projections.
If this is a question of Covid-related cash-flow, Bulb’s policy should be to be open about that… and calling a halt to the £25/fuel and ‘refer a friend’ switch-bounty schemes as part of it would be an indication of good faith.
If there are bad/late payers chase them up, and don’t pay to potentially take on more. Do not apply a blanket policy targetting the reliable, existing customers just because it’s easy.