Overpayments leading to high account balance

Does anyone know how to request a refund of overpayment balance or do we just have to drop our o
payment to nothing to get it back?
Thanks :slight_smile:

You can request a repayment via customer service, but the easiest thing to do, unless you need the cash, is to drop your DD to £1 for a while.

Hey @KJones as long as your meter readings are up to date you can drop us a very quick email on help@bulb.co.uk and we can issue a refund / adjust the payments to a more suitable level for you. As @PaulMC12345 says you can alter the monthly amount online.

How does it take 5 to 10 days to refund your own money. For a overpayment. When it only takes 2 days to reach you from my Bank Acount ???

For Bulb to ‘take’ the direct debit they have to send the ‘direct debit instructions’ to their banks on day 1. Their bank then forwards it to BACs who sit on it until the next ‘batch run’ - day 2. It is then received by your bank who appears to take the money from your account. Your bank then sends notification to BACs that the money has been debited - but they send this again on an ‘overnight batch run’ - end of day 3. BACs then forwards that onto Bulb’s bank who then notify Bulb - end of day 4. This is why there is a delay between your bank account being debited and it showing as a credit on your Bulb account [according to https://support.gocardless.com/hc/en-gb/articles/210535689-Bacs-UK-Payment-Timings it can take 5-6 working days]

However, BACs doesn’t ‘run’ on weekends/bank holidays and so an additional 2-3 days can be added at any point of that (and, of course, most banks don’t run their batches on weekends etc as well…). Technical issues etc can also occur

A refund will be processed in a similar way - Bulb sends the instruction to their bank. Their bank debits their account (overnight batch: day 1) and sends notification to BACs. Day 2. BACs then sends the instruction to your bank to credit your account. Day 3. Your bank actually receives the money from BACs and credits your account (this is why some fintech banks like Monzo can tell you the day before that you will be receiving money as they’ve received notification from BACs but haven’t actually received the money). Again - a weekend/bank-holiday may get in the way and Bulb needs to have sent the instructions to their bank before a certain ‘cut-off’ time for processing (when I used to work in company finances systems, I think the cut off - back in 2000s - was around 3pm).

Bulb will therefore say 5-10 days so not to set expectations too high (technically, if the timing was right and they processed the refund at 9am on a Monday it might be at your bank by Thursday) and they know that most banks, when they receive funds, sit on them a little while before notifying customers: would you rather be told 3 days and, because the refund wasn’t requested until 4pm on Friday (and therefore having to wait until the run on Monday evening) and taking 6 days - or be told 5-10 days and take a shorter amount of time?

Faster payments could be used for ‘extreme emergencies’, but then things like the direct debit guarantee would confuse things (as it’ll be paid back outside the system), take more manual work (as it’ll be outside the normal system) and will probably cost Bulb more money (as ‘batch transfers’ using BACs is a lot cheaper for commercial usage).

Good explanation RichyB :slight_smile: