How do I switch to a variable direct debit

I would like to know how to switch to a variable direct debit. That is, I only want to have the cost of what I use deducted from my bank account.

I have already had this offered in a thread on here, but nothing has come of it.

I’m not using nearly as much energy as I’m paying for. Currently Bulb are taking £196, the Payments and statements page on my account says I could lower it to £150 which is fair enough, but I’m not even breaking the £100 mark in usage so still kinda feel a little ripped off…

So a follow up question if I can switch to a variable DD is what happens to my current balance? Does that get used before I start to get billed? or does that get refunded? Or does bulb steal it?

Hi @paulunsy :wave:t4:

If you’d prefer to pay via variable direct debit we can amend this for you.

This means your direct debit will still stand but when your statement is produced each month, you will be charged for the statement amount. For example, if your statement in June states you’ve used £100 of energy, this exact amount will be taken via direct debit. If the funds are not available, and we cannot take the payment within 14 days of your statement date, you will be charged a missed payment fee.

This is a less flexible option in regards to higher statements, as all statements need to be paid in full, and does require you to give us meter readings unless you have a smart reading come through. So no more than 3 days before your statement to ensure an accurate bill.

Can I also kindly add that you will not build any credit for your future winter bills and any funds left over in your balance will be used towards your statements. These funds will be used first before we proceed with any payments.

If you would like for me to go ahead please let me know.

–Suki :hibiscus:

Hi @paulunsy

I’m sorry that we haven’t updated you to variable direct debit if you’ve asked.

If you’d prefer to pay via variable direct debit we can amend this for you.

This means your direct debit will still stand but when your statement is produced each month, you will be charged for any outstanding balance on the account. If the funds are not available, and we cannot take the payment within 14 days of your statement date, you will be charged a missed payment fee.

This is a less flexible option in regards to higher statements, as all statements need to be paid in full, and does require you to give us meter readings no more than 3 days before your statement, if you don’t have a smart meter, to ensure an accurate bill.

As it’s the outstanding balance that is taken, any credit you have in the account will be taken into consideration before the payment is taken.

Are you happy for me to set this up for you?

– Robyn :bulb:

That would be fantastic. I will be ensuring that I take meter readings at the end of each month.

It is worth noting that there has now been two attempts at fitting a smart meter at my property, but for some reason, it just does not work.

Many thanks

Please can you let me know if this is going ahead?

I also want to switch to Variable Direct Debit. How do i do this?

i am also wanting to change from Direct Debit to Variable Direct Debit but have been unable to find any instructions on the Bulb website as to how to do this. Can you please explain the procedure?

When I cancelled my DD I got a message on my Bulb account to set up a payment method. I filled in bank details for the new DD which appeared on my bank account DD list shortly afterwards. I then got a new message to set up date and amount which is still there - Bulb have confirmed on previous threads that this message should be ignored if you wish to pay statement amount.
In my Bulb account settings there is a box to edit DD settings which if you click it shows the date and amount which Bulb want you to pay - you must not click the ‘confirm’ button to have an open DD.

Thanks, that’s very helpful. I’ve cancelled my original DD and set up a new one without amount or date. Waiting now to see if I’m successfully switched to Variable DD

When I did the exercise the statement date did not change , so if you do not have smart meters you should provide readings a couple of days before, or your usage will be estimated.

From my own experince the least hassle way to pay only the amount you owe each month is to cancel the direct debit with your bank.

You then have two options to pay when you get a bill. You can either pay using the ‘top up’ button or ‘Direct debit’ button. DO NOT use the direct debit button. When I did this Bulb took the payment twice and other members here say the same has happened to them. Using the top up button is the way I recommend as it’s fast and the payment credits your Bulb account almost immiediately.

I am getting daily phone calls from Bulb to set up a direct debit but have told them to stop phoning me and put their concerns in writing via email.

You MUST MAKE SURE to pay the bill within 14 days of receipt otherwise Bulb will apply an ‘administration fee’ - something they are loath to be up front about.

I’ve been paying this way for over 6 months now. Trying to get Bulb to switch you to pay on receipt of bill only what you owe just does not seem to work. Cancelling the direct debit with your bank and paying when you get the bill via the ‘top up’ option does work. Works for me each month anyway.

The method I have described to set up an ‘open’ DD worked perfectly for me and others who have done the same. The exact amount you owe is taken 14 days after statement date with no problems.

Hasn’t worked for everyone else though I’m afraid. See the replies in this forum about direct debit amounts being taken twice.

Direct Debits may have been taken twice in a few cases but you have made the implication that this was because the customers concerned switched to variable DD, which is not the case.

I did what you said too, and had no problems

I’m not sure but I think paying by variable DD rather than top-ups attracts the same discount as a fixed DD,

Bulb doesn’t offer any discount based on your payment method be it variable or fixed DD.

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That implication was certainly not intended @geevo41 . Sorry if you read it that way. I can’t see the implication myself.

Do bear in mind that where you say “Direct Debits may have been taken twice in a few cases” that those “few cases” you allude to (although I’m not quite sure how you have access to the data on how many cases this has been) involve duplicate payments of hundreds of pounds. So, whilst insignificant to you because you haven’t been affected, it’s a very significant hit on the finances of those affected.

I’m not quite sure why you think that because things have worked out for you then they must be working fine for everyone else.

Thank you for confirming that switching to variable DD has no effect on your chance of being double billed - it would have been a shame to put people off this alternative for that reason. My last bill was for £103.80 and my ‘suggested’ monthly payment is £170.15 so you can appreciate why I support this payment method.

I’m sorry that you have problems with double billing but advising people to cancel their DDs could lead to trouble for people not as efficient with their finances as yourself.

Best of luck sorting out your problems with Bulb.

To clarify @geevo41 my advice is aimed at those who cannot get Bulb to switch them to variable direct debit. It should be straightforward as you say but there are quite a few posts where Bulb have not managed to switch people to variable direct debit.

To be clear - if you cannot get Bulb to successfully change you over to variable direct debit follow the advice above about cancelling your direct debit with your bank and then paying via the top up option.

Oh dear, this is getting tiresome. You do not need Bulb to effect the switch - you can do it yourself as I have shown earlier on this thread.