Outrageous DD hike; DD cancelled - I'm not your overdraft

Hi Bulb,

This is a complaint - please log and respond accordingly

I have cancelled the direct debit after I found you in breach of our contract for supply of gas and electricity to my property.

You failed to notify me of your intent to hike the direct debit payment, contrary to both your terms and conditions and the Direct Debit Guarantee, the terms of which you are obligated to comply with.

Our agreement was for a monthly payment of £71.87 to be made on the first day of each month. Yesterday, I discovered that you had taken it upon yourself to attempt to charge my account to the tune of £107.86 - despite failing to provide the requisite 10 days notice and ignoring the fact that my account was in credit in excess of £44.

In this situation, and with access to your company unavailable for the weekend, I took the only course of action I had at my disposal to remedy the situation, I cancelled the direct debit to prevent your unscrupulous company from fraudulently accessing funds that you have no lawful claim to.

This morning, with a view to keeping my account in good standing, I have applied a debit card payment for £71.87.

I wish to make it clear to you that I do not consent to being used as a free line of credit to support you company’s cash flow or international expansion plans. If you company needs a loan, you should go to the market, like every other company, or consider a scheme of interest payments for when my money is sitting in your account.

A contract is not a one-way device. As such, I am holding you in breach of said contract and am taking action to ensure I am not to be abused by your malpractice.

As you have abused my trust - as well as your obligation to abide by the direct debit guarantee - I shall continue to fund my account by debit card until such time as you undertake to not help yourself to my money without consent. I will make sure that you are paid what is owed, but if you cannot be trusted to operate a fair direct debit scheme, then I will not participate.

I suggest an apology is required. Please indicate steps you will take to restore the broken trust and how you intend to ensure compliance in future.

At this point, we can discuss reinstatement of direct debit payments.

Liam
@Eric_at_Bulb @GeorgieS_at_Bulb @George_at_Bulb @Oisin_at_Bulb @Matthew_W_at_Bulb

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You will have to make a complaint via the OFFICIAL complaint form which can be found at the bottom of this page.
Good luck with that

My understanding from others’ posts on here as that the only way to get a response from Bulb is to do things publicly.

I have sent my complaint to complaints@bulb.co.uk

This copy here is so they have no way of pretending they don’t know.

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Good thinking, it seems the only way to get a response

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I " joined" Bulb in August 2020. Very quickly you have (in my opinion) artificially hiked the monthly DD from £100 to c£153 (your “minimum”) and advised higher figure (c£173) being the recommended figure. Background - we moved into this property in August 2020 (coming from a 4 bed semi to a 3 bed detached bungalow) so in fairness we have no previous long term usage data to work with. However, I cannot imagine for a moment that the usage figure could so different given that the rates being charged per unit are approximately same for both gas and electricity (including daily rate standing charges) as those charged by our previous supplier at our old address (i.e. the only other variable applicable must be your forecast usage). “Liam’s” earlier complaint suggests he has had the same experience and I agree with his suspicions and I too will cancel my DD and pay manually unless I get some satisfactory answers to my communication (sent yesterday) querying the hike. My previous supplier was Tonic who went to the wall just after we left them (they too started to hike their monthly DD after our annual agreement came to an end in June (although not to such an extent) - are Bulb going the same way - does not look good does it? As Liam has suggested the customer is not there to act as your financier you should make your own arrangements in that respect. If you are making a loss then by all means up your rates and customers can go elsewhere if they can find a cheaper deal but please do not cover up financial incompetence by building up massive prepayments and cash reserves. Your on line DD amount option does not allow the user to enter a realistic amount if that is less than the minimum Bulb has set (i.e. the latter is the lowest DD amount allowed to be set) This forces the user instead to contact you to (presumably) negotiate manually to override that minimum and set that more realistic monthly rate. I can assure you that I look at my monthly accounts regularly and if I feel I am “running behind” I will increase my monthly DD myself rather than wait for the year end and a large debit balance to arise. I await your response including a justification for the hike and if not received within the next 7 days (November 1st is the last £100 DD as I understand it before going up to £153) then I will cancel my DD and pay manually in future. If a genuine mistake has been made you this unacceptable situation could have easily been rectified by you running an exceptions report being run in advance whereby you would have seen that the monthly DD had been increased by over 50%! You could then have contacted me by email to discuss this situation not “imprison” me on your site with an automatic minimum.

It’s in your hands you have been warned!!

Ian

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I notice that this forum is filling up with horror stories of Bulb’s greed and opportunism, any yet everyone with ‘_at_bulb’ in their user name has gone strangely quiet.

What you have been doing is clear for all to see.

This is nothing to do with winter payments and everything to do with an unethical company trying to tap it’s customers for an enforced interest free loan.

Your customers deserve an apology, where are you?

Bring an end to this utter contempt you are showing to the people who keep you in work.

(And while you are at it, acknowledge my complaint)

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I notice that members of Bulb’s team have been viewing the forum today but have been silent. What gives?

What are you doing to undo the reputational damage you have done?

Could it be that you are avoiding a large group of very upset customers?

@George_at_Bulb @Oisin_at_Bulb @GeorgieS_at_Bulb

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No reply to our complaint either or any sign of an @bulb member replying.

We were expecting the normal £100 Direct Debit to go from our bank this morning. But they decided to up our Direct Debit £151 without telling us. Luckily we had money in the bank but imagine if it had made us overdrawn!!

We have now switched to another supplier this morning. Bulb cannot be trusted with our money ever again.

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Yes, seems odd how many of us there are that have not been informed of the hike.

The hike is morally wrong - customers are not to be used as a line of credit.

But to do it without telling us actually breaks their terms and conditions. They are in breach of contract and they know it.

Big chance the email in September was caught by spam filters for those that didn’t know about it (has happened before for me for genuine emails that talk about money).
I got my email on the 23rd September though, so it’s probably already been deleted from spam folders (they usually auto-delete after ~30 days).

What would have been good, was a second email as a heads-up, as a reminder a couple of weeks before the payment was due.

No email was received. Spam folder has been checked. So the big chance it was caught in the Spam filters is not true. My son works in IT and has checked all emails in the last year from Bulb. Not 1 mentioning a direct debit increase.

They have purposely done this without sending any email notifying customer of the Direct Debit increase. This is done so no one can object before they have done what they did.

We have signed with another company today as Bulb increased our DD by 50% when it didn’t even need increasing. This is just a ploy to have OUR money in THEIR account!

My advice is to sign with another supplier asap. If Bulb are so desperate/hard up to have our money then they shouldn’t be trusted anymore!!

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@George_at_Bulb
@Oisin_at_Bulb
@GeorgieS_at_Bulb

@eric_at_bulb

any sign of a reply to anyone today??

Or are you being sworn to keep quiet by your big bosses because of their greed!!!

Increasing Direct Debit and not notifying anyone during a pandemic. Very clever way of getting money out of customers!!!

Perhaps they are getting early practice for Thursdays lockdown :rofl:

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Not entirely true. I received the email, it was an almost 3x increase, and I then cancelled my direct debit after requesting them to correct their error.
Did you check your spam folder between the 23rd of September and 23rd October? It’s something that could easily be missed. I don’t regularly check my spam folder.
Emails can easily go wrong, for example I received the email about the increase, but I don’t receive any chat transcripts when I request them.

Anyway, I’m not defending bulb. They’ve totally screwed this up. Even in my case where I cancelled the direct debit, got them to accept (relunctantly) that the calculation was based on bad data, and they then started a re-calculation on the system, twice, after correcting my annual usage estimation, and still to this day I’m showing the 3x increased payment of £172 on my account, and can’t set it below £155, when it was previously £60 and my usage is around £65. By my calculation using their method and proper data, it should be £85 at most.

I certainly didn’t get the email. I am a systems engineer and I maintain the email server that would handle it.

The bills always get through.

There was no notification of DD hike, making it contrary to their terms and conditions and the DD guarantee.

Bulb still in hiding?

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Still hiding. I put a 1 star review on Trustpilot also to warn others of their despicable actions.

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No spam emails at all from Bulb during those dates ryan4257. Looking on Bulb on Facebook and on this Community we are not the only ones they have done this to. Whatever system they use to send mass emails has let them down as 100’s are complaining over excessive Direct Debits with no notification.

What they have done smacks of desperation to get money into their company at all costs.

The minimum we could set ours at today was around £136. We have never had a bill that high amount in 2 years. They want our money in credit in their bank rather than ours. That’s all this is about. A quick cash grab which will back fire on them.

We have left Bulb today and joined another supplier.

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At last they have come out of hiding, but as usual they are “cherrypicking” the posters they respond to

Sign of a quality firm.

Definitely cherry picking. Never bothered to answer a single one of my emails yet. Have managed to send me my final bill though. So it’s not like they aren’t receiving and sending comms. Sort yourselves out, Bulb. The silence is deafening.

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