Money disappeared from prepay on top up

This was first noticed on boxing day by my partner…so tested this myself…on applying a £40 top up. After emergency £5 was used. £13 was taken immediately? Leaving £27 electric to use…we have no debt and no reason for money to just disappear without explanation. Can anyone help or advise what’s going on.

Please get a move on with smart pre pay meters and stop discrimination against accommodation renters. :grin:

Hi @priceallan,

Welcome to Bulb’s community! :raised_hands:

A reduced top up can happen on prepayment meters if there is any outstanding balance on the meters, which you can sometimes be unaware of.

I’d recommend taking a look on your prepayment meter and checking on the screens to see if there’s anything that may be causing this.

Check out this guide if you need a hand seeing the screens and let us know how you get on.

All the best,

Freya @ Bulb :bulb:

Hi Freya,
We’ve lived at this property for 8 years and have never incurred any debt as weve always had pre pay (which I do not want but the landlord does) no debt shows on the meter, so I’m back to my original question…how does money just get taken without reason…on the issue raised £13 was taken from a £40 top up, even after £5 emergency debt was taken from that amount, that left £8 taken (disappeared) without reason/trace. We have kept the £40 shop receipt and I took a photo of total amount after the key was inserted. I tried to upload these but apparently the file is to large to upload (it’s only a photo)…this is just 1 occasion…my partner informs me that this happens on a regular basis, as I’ve only become aware of this, does this mean we’ve possibly had hundreds/thousands taken without explanation? The standing charge can be a killer for some people ‘forced’ to use prepay/key even with standing charge…this seems wrong.

I suggest other prepay key users look out for this too :scream:

I have had the same thing happen several times recently. I’ve noticed on one top up it took £13 and on another it took £7 -

I also noticed that if my emergency clicks in the speed at which the emergency money is used up seemse to double .

Not really sure why this is happening and obviously only go in to emergency on the odd occasion by accident - so there is no reason for sums of £13 etc to be taken.

I’d love to find out why this is happening too.

1 Like

Hi @priceallan,

This is a common misconception. Your money doesn’t get taken for no reason, nor does it ever vanish. It always goes somewhere on your meter.

Your repayment rate for any sort of debt should be capped at £3/ a week + your regular standing charge amount, I can see from your top-ups that your money never disappeared, but was used up.

We would love to look into your usage though, could you get in touch with us via live chat or email ( so we can investigate this for you?

@CorinaLucyBest welcome to Bulb community! :partying_face:

The exact same scenario for you as well, it’s just a case of activating emergency credit, but £13 wasn’t taken. Please do send us an email / get in touch with us on our live chat, we’d love to double check your usage too.

I switched from eon to bulb registered the card to the meter put £20 put it in meter took £20 top up but no gas I rang bulb on the day gave meter details had message day after shive to shop for the £20 I had a message 2 days after the 1st one to go to shop give card to shop and number collect the message let by bulb for the card and put in meter. August. In November I notice Emergency used on screen even tho in credit and every top up I put on card _£3 came off for EMERGENCY ,7 went on gas. From November I was trying to get hold of bulb the enguire about it. I asked on every email about a call back preferred as can’t handle the stress of emailing and I have long term Ilness. In January I decided to ring bulb through the support line. As no sign of a call from bulb and loads of emails tryin I got hold of max who said Georgia will handle it. When she mentioned Complaint? I said what complaint I ain’t spoke with anyone about my enquiry yet . I realised I was in the wrong department. I told Georgia I Havant made any complaint several times but she carried on with the procedure as if there was a Complaint to the deadlock part and she gave it to samuel to check it over and he emailed me and told he emailed me that he’d checked it over & it’s correct & closed.
Baffled me that they still carried on closing something that didn’t exist and I told them it didn’t several times. I said I want it taken off the system as nothing to close as I want to still get my enquiry heard. Email from samuel we (bulb) can disregard the (complaint) as it’s closed and carry on with my enquiry. I have that on email

Thanks Trevor.
Still very confused. WE HAVE NO DEBT…The only Debt owed was the £5 emergency…even with standing charge this should not be £13…you say you’ve looked into our usage so you would have seen we can not afford heating. We are desperate for a smart meter so we can ‘see what’s going on’ we ‘FEEL’ as if money just disappears with no explanation and have seen the amounts ‘disappear’ when the meter is topped up…were not saying this is a bulb issue but definitely an issue.
Is it possible to obtain a meter printout of ingoing top up amounts and usage of electric. This may help us to understand where the £8 ‘disappeared’ to.

Hi Freya i had same problem with my meter on my 1st top up after I switched from Eon. It took all the £20 top up I gave bulb the meter reading I got 1 msg to go to shop I topped topped up the £20 got 2nd msg to take card to shop and there was a msg to load on card for the meter. August 2020 in November emergancy used stayed on 24/7 when I had credit on but £3 coming off every top I made. This is why I was trying to sort what was happening bulb said they found something left on the meter. ZBut I was never made aware of this at the time and wasn’t happy as bulb had been taking £3 of my top-up and have never told me there were goin to do this and without my permission. And i have asked for proof that there actually was anything on the meter I got nothing to say there was just The word of Bulb & no one in there rite mind are going to believe what bulb says. And I’m still waiting for any proof it may be closed and deadlocked with the( non complaint that never existed) your complaint department closed it. When waste time complet ING something that never was what actually was closed I wonder

Hi There,

I have been trying to contact you about my pre payment meter. I have been putting a lot of money on to this meter and it doesn’t register anything. The screen is blank. We haven’t run out of electricity. I have put two lots of £180 on it in Jan and Feb and on Saturday I pout another £45. Still the screen is blank.

I would like it changed for a normal meter with a smart meter please asap.

Please get in contact with me urgently.
Thanks, Trudi

Hey everyone, thanks for coming to Community!

@madzgagz52 - Sam is going to get back to you tomorrow, he might give you a call to go through your concerns better so please keep an eye on your phone for that.

@priceallan - I replied to your email now requesting some more information from you - please get back to me there when you can.

@trudikhartley - I’ve popped you an email now as it sounds like your meters gone into failsafe mode so we need to come out and replace that.


Hi Freya, yep have done this previous…and again…and still nothing untoward seen. Trevor mentioned a misconception in totals disappearing, indicating he could see where the money disappeared to…I cant…im pretty exasperated with the situation and will just haft to live with being ‘ripped off’ with amounts just disappearing from top up key meters without explanation. SOMEONE SOMEHOW SOMEWHERE IS MAKING A LOT OF MONEY FROM THIS SCAM. Again I’m not pointing a finger at bulb as I’ve not been with you long, however find it strange that we in the 8 years of living at this property have not noticed this before, maybe its the key meter industry as a whole not just bulb that ‘gets away with it’