Smart meters not being used by Bulb

I first told Bulb that my smart meters are not being used last June. I have sent several reminder emails since then. The problem hasn’t been fixed, and it seems that Bulb are now ignoring me!

It’s an industry-wide problem that can’t just be fixed by customer services clicking the “fix all problems” button on your account no matter how many reminder emails you send. You just need to be patient and wait. Likely all of 2020 and into 2021 before things become reliable.

Thanks for that. Maybe Bulb could have let me know, instead of telling me - about 4 months ago - that it would be sorted in a couple of weeks.

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Sometimes it is sorted within a couple of weeks. Other times there’s some bigger problem and it can’t be fixed for an indefinite period. Often the supplier just doesn’t know because the problems are further down the chain within the DCC - the company that actually operates the SMETS2 meters and handles the data acquisition.

None of this excuses Bulb’s lack of communication with customers regarding the details of their own installations.

There have been a few posts on the Bulb blog over the last few months about the problems they’re experiencing with smart meter installations. That does of course require the customer to go actively looking for the information. See:

Thanks again for that. The autumn update mentions a 95% success rate in the southern region, which is where I am. I have no idea how my problem might get mopped up in the future. I don’t have any reference to my support calls.
When I was told it would be sorted in a few weeks, it was mentioned that they could see my readings, but couldn’t use them.
Last week a card was dropped through my door, requesting a manual reading!
I have some experience of support and call centre processes, this looks like a mess.

This sounds like an issue with Bulb’s own account and billing backend. There’s been several posts saying the same thing on here, where apparently the meter readings are coming through (indicating the whole smart meter stack is essentially working) but for whatever reason Bulb can’t create bills from it.

From information I’ve gleaned from the Bulb careers page it looks like they’re building an entire new platform - basically rebuilding what is essentially the entire company from scratch.

The Platform team at Bulb are building a completely greenfield system responsible for things like Billing, Metering and Account Management. This software will be at the very heart of Bulb’s business and is absolutely vital to our day-to-day operations and future ambitions. We’ve reached 1.5 million customers in less than 4 years and are still growing! The software you’ll build will support our continued growth and entry into new markets.

I get the impression that Bulb are mired in technical debt and that’s one of the reasons things are not easy to fix. There’s been no official announcement about a new platform, and no indication on when anything might be ready. It just requires patience while this stuff is built. It’s not an overnight fix. Regarding the manual reading, indeed, it would be sensible to continue manually reading your meters as you’ve always done in order to keep your account up to date while all the kinks are worked out.

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