How to top up new prepayment key and card

Just received email to say my new topup card and key have been sent.
Do I have to register the card/key before topping up or can I put money on card/key before inserting for the first time?
If the former there will be no money on card/key.

it is the former, you MUST register new key/card in meter before topping- up, and use up as much of your old credit as pos as some suppliers are a bit tardy when it comes to making refunds

Thank you for the reply.
I was guessing that was the case but why is it not explained when you sign up?
So the new card/key has to be registered as explained in the joining info. “Credit on the meter will be wiped when you use your Bulb key for the first time. So wait until your credit is close to zero before using your new key”.
That means that there will be no money on the meter until I topup. Am I in debt right from the start?
skippy64, I notice from your reply that you did not address this part of my query?

Also, because the credit is wiped I intended topping up my card first before using. That entailed a long bus ride. Only to be told (I guess) that the card had not been registered.
This part of the joining info is very lax and needs addressing.

that is explained on the leaflet accompyning the card, but once you have registered key/card in meter you can then topup and have them ready to insert into meter when yor credit gets low(but before EC as this causes other problems)

PS I beleive bulbs key/ cards can be used at paypoint or payzone if that helps a bit

My point is that there will be no credit because registering the card will wipe the credit from previous supplier.

No registering the key/card will not affect your existing credit that will only happen once you insert the new topped-up cards hence the advice that you run the credit as low as possible before topping up with the new card/key

O.K. I understand now. I was assuming that registering the key was using it for the first time.
I do think that this should be made clearer.

:slightly_smiling_face: :upside_down_face: :relaxed:
PS your key and card are sent seperately so may arrive at diifferent times

Thanks for that.

All other info is explained in the joining emails.
Makes you wonder why this is not included.

Sorry, I take exception to that comment.
I can point you to same information that is explained multiple times even before you receive your new keys/cards.
Do they not see that as superflous? Who knows?

Does this article help. https://help.bulb.co.uk/hc/en-us/articles/360006251851-How-do-I-start-using-my-Bulb-prepayment-key-or-card-

There are quite a number of other articles on the Bulb Help page.

Click the Help button at the bottom of this page to see the full range of articles.

Allanr, Now I am even more confused.
The page you pointed me to says:

"How to use your electricity prepayment key

  1. Use up all the credit on your meter before you plug in your new key
    This is important, otherwise your new key will wipe your existing credit.

I presume from that I will be wiping my existing credit when I register my card.
Is that the case?
And if so how is the electricity I use between registering the card and topping up the meter paid for?

The gas side of things seems more straightforward. It says:

Plug the new card into your meter and wait 60 seconds
Make sure the gold chip on your gas card is facing up. This will register your card. Once that’s done, we’ll be your official supplier of renewable gas. Plugging in your new card won’t wipe any credit you already have on the meter.

I’m not a pre payment customer so I wouldn’t wish to give you incorrect information. I can only point you to the Bulb instructions, if you check the Help page there may be other pages on pre payment which will answer your specific query?

Allanr, Thanks for your help anyway.
I have read the Bulb help pages and this particular issue is not addressed hence my post on this forum.

Using your key and registering your key is two separate and distinct operations
Registering your key will not"wipe" your credit. Using your key will.
The electricity that you use in the meantime will be paid for by the credit already on your meter

skippy64, I appreciate you trying to help but your answer flies in the face of the quote from the help pages (above).

We now have a new description ie ‘plug in’ your new key.
I must say also that I fail to see how registering your key is not ‘using’ it. Could be wrong though…

It would be much simpler for them to say that the remaing credit would only be wiped when you first top up your new key.
Also, if what you say is true why don’t they use the same wording as they do with gas ie Plugging in your new card won’t wipe any credit you already have on the meter.

I have contacted Bulb for a definitive answer, although I reckon their reply will be too late to help.

I’m also confused by this, do Bulb monitor this forum, or it’s just customers’ guessing?

I’d like to know if I need to turn everything off before I register my new key because then I won’t have electricity in my flat until I go to the store, top up the new key and bring it back?

It’s a simple question, could someone from Bulb say a definitive yes or no please?

NO you do not need to turn everything off, I speak as long standing pre payment customer. If you turn everything off at the mains, then by default your meter will be turned off as well and your key won’t register.
Just follow the instructiouns that come with key/card and all will be well

I think you misunderstood. I wasn’t talking about turning off the meter. I was talking about the computer, the electronics on standby, stuff like that.

The instructions are as follows:

  1. Use up all the credit on your meter before you plug in this key. This is important, otherwise your new key will wipe your existing credit.
  2. Plug your Bulb key into the meter and wait for 60 seconds.
  3. Top up at your nearest Paypoint.
  4. After topping up, insert your Bulb key back into your meter and wait for 5 seconds.

So, if I register my key with the meter, will it actually wipe everything out, and will it shut down the electricity in my flat, so there will be no electricity between steps 2 and 4?

I hope it’s clearer now.

Just to clarify, no it will not wipe everything out, you may want turn stuff on standby for safety reasons but it is not really necessary

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