Increased payments

Hi
I have just received an email telling me that you are increasing my payments by £15 a month despite being over £300 in credit. I kindly request that you don’t do this. I regularly check my account and see absolutely no justification for this. The email cites that this is basically based on what you THINK i will use, not any factual evidence. You dont have enough information about my usage to construct a graph on my account, yet you seem very confident that i should be paying more. Winter has only just kicked in yet you confidently predict i wont have enough credit in 12 months time to see me through NEXT winter. I am quite happy to be £300 in credit and don’t see any reason to give you any more of my money. I already see different amounts on my account every month for what you think I should be paying, ranging from everything’s fine to suggesting I pay £35 a month more. I see no need for you to alter my monthly payments unless I’m in arrears.

Hi I have just received an email telling me that you are increasing my payments by £15 a month despite being over £300 in credit. I kindly request that you don't do this. I regularly check my account and see absolutely no justification for this. The email cites that this is basically based on what you THINK i will use, not any factual evidence. You dont have enough information about my usage to construct a graph on my account, yet you seem very confident that i should be paying more. Winter has only just kicked in yet you confidently predict i wont have enough credit in 12 months time to see me through NEXT winter. I am quite happy to be £300 in credit and don't see any reason to give you any more of my money. I already see different amounts on my account every month for what you think I should be paying, ranging from everything's fine to suggesting I pay £35 a month more. I see no need for you to alter my monthly payments unless I'm in arrears.

My suggestion as another customer is to keep your DD at the same amount so that you will slowly eat into your credit during the winter months and to take into account the recent price increase.

The methodology used by Bulb to calculate DD increases is somewhat flawed.

At the end of the day Bulb’s requirement is that you have sufficient credit in your account to pay one month in advance for your energy.

You are able to retain control of your DD by going into to your “Account & tariff info page” at: https://account.bulb.co.uk/dashboard/personal-details

Thanks Allan, I’ve already done that, I just don’t expect to see my balance £300 in credit yet be asked for more money. Interestingly, the email states, “And you need to end up with two month’s credit at this point next year to cover the cold winter months.” Just how much of my money do bulb want to stash away? That, to me, reads that they want 2 months credit, and as you pay a month in advance, does that then become 3 months worth of payments? Benefit of the doubt, bulb are just keeping me informed, but i received an email last month “suggesting” i increase my payments and because i havent theyve decided for me that i WILL increase my payments. They seem to want me to start building up credit for winter 2019 already. Where does it end?

@efcol

I have never understood the two month credit buffer in 12 months time, even though I have tried answering many questions about the DD increase on this forum.

There are some reasonable basic requirements as a Bulb Customer, how do these fit in with your thoughts?

  1. Submit regular meter readings, ideally every month and a couple of days before the statement is prepared. This should result in a statement based on actual meter readings rather than estimated.

  2. Account should be in credit sufficient to pay one month in advance for your energy use.

  3. The DD should be set by dividing the estimate of the energy costs for a year by 12. Nominally this is the figure shown under “Average monthly usage” on the “Payments & statements” page at: https://account.bulb.co.uk/dashboard/payments-and-statements

  4. In all probability customers will use more energy during the winter months.

Using the above as a model for future DD payments.

If you have sufficient credit to pay one month in advance for your energy use then it would seem feasible not to have to increase your DD payment.

If you don’t have sufficient credit in you account you will need to increase the DD to to at least the “Average monthly usage” mentioned in 3. above.

Also customers should use the “Top up balance” facility at https://account.bulb.co.uk/dashboard/payments-and-statements/top-up to clear any debit.

Agree completely, and already follow all those steps, (it was actually one of the main reasons I joined bulb, seemed a more modern way to manage utilities, much more like a phone contract where you paid for what you use and didn’t get a random statement every 6 months.) As i said in my previous post, benefit of the doubt goes to bulb that they are just keeping me informed, but after 4 months it seems more like “big brother” and very off putting as a new customer. I have been reading similar (and much worse) scenarios from other customers in this forum.
Having said that, kudos to bulb for giving us this platform to express our opinions and it does seem they handle criticism as well as take the plaudits. On the whole I am still pleased to be a bulb customer and am not looking to jump ship, but they maybe need to look into their approach to these things when customers are hundreds in credit. It comes across as greedy when they demand more money and I think us new customers see that more as a big 6 tactic which is the reason, I would , guess that most of us switched to a smaller company in the first place. I would urge bulb to tread a bit more carefully with these demands.
I would fully expect, and probably welcome, that kind of input if my balance was slipping towards debit. Bulb would have every right to ask for more and it would be safe to assume that anyone heading in that direction has taken their eye off the ball regarding their payments.
I would hazard a guess that they need to tweak some algorithm thingy in their system to not send the same demands to every customer, only those who need a gentle shove in the right direction.
On a final point, I have referred a friend to bulb, giving them a really positive review, and it makes you feel responsible. They have already had the price increase (unavoidable I know), but if they also start getting demands for more money they may think I’ve sold them a lemon.