Migrating from British Gas Freetime Tariff

I’ve recently finished a FreeTime Tariff with British Gas which utilised the Smart Meters to give me free energy on Saturday/Sunday. Unfortunately, British Gas have now stopped doing this Tariff and none of their current tariffs are any good, hence my in progress switch to Bulb.

Before making the switch, I called Bulb and told them about the current state of the meters (they display a Total, Rate 1 and Rate 2) and they told me that this wouldn’t be a problem at all. Filled with confidence that this wasn’t going to be a problem, I have initiated the switch.

Yesterday the day came where I needed to submit my meter readings. I’m not able to submit both readings and British Gas are now only reading Rate 1 (and not the Total), the Bulb website tells me to input the Total but that would mean that my reading would be over 300 kWh (I really did take advantage of the FreeTime) what BG is currently saying the reading is, potentially leading to them charging me for all the ‘free’ energy I had all in one go!

I called up Bulb hoping for the friendly support that I’ve been reading about, only to basically get “shrug I don’t know what you need to enter, put what you think in and I’ll e-mail you with what it should be”. This really should be something that should be answered straight away, or at least have someone to refer me to immediately rather than waiting for an e-mail. Sadly, to add insult to unjust, absolutely no e-mail has been forthcoming.

I’ve reached out to Bulb via Twitter and their response is pretty much, keep ringing until to get through to someone who understands what you’re telling them/can put you through to someone who can… Really not the first impression that I was expecting.

I’m now in a position where I’m supposed to be switching on the 25th and I’m really starting to regret initiating the switch. If the customer service is going to be this bad now, what’s it going to be like going forward? I’m already losing the Smart Meter functionality, I don’t want to lose out on service too and potentially have to deal with a massive headache (and bill) because Bulb can’t even get the meter readings right. It also looks like the promised Smart Meter rollout by Bulb is being quietly pushed back until next year…

Is this really worth £50 credit?

Sounds to me it’s BG who’ve made this messy.

I’d have had them change the meter over to normal one rate or E7 for a month before switching away.

I wish you luck!

I also suspect BG are being awkward, If you left them at the end of a contract I cant see how they can charge you for the free weekends (check the contract). I am sure Bulb will pick up on this and get it resolved. Your readings will be verified by a 3rd party and that should start to balance things out.
As for Smart meters there are problems within the industry with supply and demand it is not specific to Bulb. 300 kWH does not seem excessive for a month.

Hi Chalky, I remember this from Twitter. As I said there, we do deal with these meters and they can either come to us having been reconfigured to one rate, or left as two rate. In both cases, we can deal with this. In your case it looks like they have reconfigured it so the ‘rate 1’ records all usage and the ‘rate 2’ will not change in future. It often involves us phoning British Gas to ask them what state they had it in and how they final billed it (or are planning to). It’s a specific system that they use which does cause some headaches (and BG don’t give the guidance needed to us or their customers when they switch away) but we can support it. Given that you have until the 30th to submit your first reading I am very confident that this will be resolved long before then. I’m sorry that the call and follow up haven’t given a good impression, this shouldn’t have happened and we will do better next time.

Phoned again today, explained that I need to speak to someone who specifically knows something about the FreeTime tariff and what I need to do.

10 minutes later, I’m still none the wiser and apparently now I’m supposed to call British Gas myself and try and find out what I’m supposed to be doing.

I wouldn’t call that ‘doing better next time’.

I also suspect BG are being awkward, If you left them at the end of a contract I cant see how they can charge you for the free weekends (check the contract). I am sure Bulb will pick up on this and get it resolved. Your readings will be verified by a 3rd party and that should start to balance things out. As for Smart meters there are problems within the industry with supply and demand it is not specific to Bulb. 300 kWH does not seem excessive for a month.

But that energy was supposed to be ‘free’ as part of the FreeTime tariff. Why should I have to potentially pay that to British Gas because Bulb can’t get over this confusion with my Smart Meters.

Unfortunately, if you can’t get your act together today, I’m going to have to ask you to cancel my switch before you send the Direct Debit file off to my bank (DD due to go out on the 25th).

@Chalky

Submit a meter reading now to British Gas and ask them to check the status of your account after taking that into account. If all’s good, then you’ll be fine.

“Phoned again today, explained that I need to speak to someone who specifically knows something about the FreeTime tariff and what I need to do.”

I really can’t see why you’re lumping all the blame at Bulb’s door here…they need an opening read, end of. It’s your previous suppliers possible incompetence that worries you.

@Chalky

Submit a meter reading now to British Gas and ask them to check the status of your account after taking that into account. If all’s good, then you’ll be fine.

“Phoned again today, explained that I need to speak to someone who specifically knows something about the FreeTime tariff and what I need to do.”

I really can’t see why you’re lumping all the blame at Bulb’s door here…they need an opening read, end of. It’s your previous suppliers possible incompetence that worries you.

I have a Smart Meter, I don’t submit meter readings to British Gas

When I was ‘sold’ by Bulb, I was told that being on a FreeTime tariff with a dual rate meter would not be a problem. Clearly it is causing Bulb and myself plenty of problems. I shouldn’t have been told by Bulb that everything would be fine.

I can’t give Bulb an opening read because my Meter has 2 rates so yes the blame does lie with Bulb because they aren’t giving me the ability to submit all the information that my Meter is giving me.

Hi @Chalky can you send a photo of your meter to help@bulb.co.uk with the subject FAO CALLUM, and I’ll get this sorted for you :slight_smile:

Over a week later and I’m still not anywhere with this. I have to keep pushing for updates all time, my request to raise a formal complaint has been ignored.