Top up meter not working

Hi I’ve got a situation where I’m worried about if I will get back billed.

Basically I moved into a 2 bed rented flat at the start of April. We registered with bulb in the first week or so (previously British gas) and are gas was pay monthly but our electricity was top up, now I’ve never used a top up meter so I’m not sure how they worked. Switch complete by the end of the month. Anyway I mention to my landlord and he said (despite nothing on the contract), “I thought you guys would pay me £40 each month for electricity but it’s okay, I’ve payed it off for the next year but as you’ve switched I just need to let them know, just pay me for April” sounded strange but I did.

Anyway my bulb key arrives mid may and I put it in and nothing happened, the blue button on our meter does nothing and the price of about £2.50 has never changed since we moved in. After reading up how they work I understand the only way to top them up is manually with a key unless you have a smart meter but from googling I think ours might just be a standard one, there’s only one blue button on it, which then made me confused as to how our landlord had been paying it? I then was wondering if its been tampered with but no obvious signs with wiring, so I just told bulb it’s not working and I don’t know why, and they said it sounds faulty, they will send me a link when I can book an engineer to come take a look when it’s safer to do so. Unfortunately they didn’t say when this could be so still waiting.

Up until now other than April we’ve payed nothing for electricity so I’m wondering if there’s a chance they will back bill us and if we should put something asside? Or if there’s anything I should do or if reporting the issue is already enough and I just wait. Also as it wasn’t changing screens we haven’t been able to get energy reading from when we moved in which is also a little concern.

I don’t know anything re top up
I would however if possible get the start reading when you moved in, if you don’t have it then Bulb should be able to supply from the time of the switch, then I would take at least weekly readings and if possible an image with a date stamp in case you need some sort of proof later on.

Maybe others will have a better take on this but something doesn’t sound right to me cause if the landlord has paid for the year then I would be asking you for the money each month.

Hi @barrg007 Thanks for posting and welcome to the Bulb Community :wave:

It sounds like the meter is faulty but has gone into a ‘failsafe’ mode where it won’t switch off. In this case we won’t backbill you for the time until we can book in a replacement for you. Could I just clarify, was the credit of £2.50 on the meter before your switch to Bulb and has stayed after entering your new key?

Regarding your payments, you’d ordinarily pay Bulb through top ups and the meter normally resets any credit if working when you insert a new supplier’s key. Your credit gas meter is with Bulb and being paid by direct debit. I’d advise asking your landlord to clarify further why they think you should be paying them £40 for your energy costs, as your financial responsibility is to pay the supplier.

As your meter is prepay you won’t need the meter readings. I hope this clarifies things a bit, as I can appreciate that your situation seems a little confusing!