Very confused about a switch that may or may not have taken place

Hi,

I have smart prepayment meters for gas and electricity. I wanted to switch to bulb and was told by bulb support to select “credit meter” on the sign-up process because of a conflict between meter registrations on some central database and what they actually held.

A number of weeks ago I initiated the switch from SSE to bulb but, because we then had a major boiler outage, I made the decision to abort the switch (the reason being that my father, who I care for, is vulnerable to colder temperatures, and because the boiler was broken we’d be relying on electrical heaters and I wanted to avoid any loss of electrical service). I cancelled it on 5th Jun and thought that was that.

On the 12 and 13th of June I had issues using SSE’s top-up service so I rang them and made a card payment over the phone which worked fine.

Then on the 14 of June I noticed that the little remote digital display for our meters showed a dash in the prepayment balance instead of the £48 that should have been on there. I checked the actual electricity meter and in the settings it said the tariff type was Credit.

I rang SSE up again and that’s when they told me that the electricity supply was now owned by bulb. I was a bit surprised but ultimately I didn’t mind the partial switch taking place because there’d been no interruption in supply.

Everything has been fine but my Dad just rang me (I’m at work) to say the display was showing a prepayment balance of 53p. I spoke to SSE who confirmed they have no access to our electricity meter so it must still be under bulb but I have no way of contacting bulb over the phone today and now the prepayment balance is down to 38p.

What can I do? bulb don’t do smart prepayment meters, I have no topup process in place, and it looks like we’ll have no electricity for the weekend or more!?

Even more confused after popping home on my lunch

Elec meter payment mode is credit but the amount showing on the remote display thing is now 61p so it’s gone up!?

Also, no advance payment was ever taken from my account and I can’t even log into my bulb account because it says there is no such account.

Elec meter payment mode is credit but the amount showing on the remote display thing is now 61p so it's gone up!?

It sounds like your switch to Bulb wasn’t cancelled, and went ahead.

Switching energy supplier doesn’t ever involve a loss of supply, so I’m not sure why you thought that. You’re changing only who bills you, nothing to do with the actual infrastructure. There was no reason to cancel your switch just because you had boiler problems.

Your IHD is now telling you the amount you’ve used, hence going up.

Remember the technical financial terms are sometimes a little odd. When it says “credit” on your display, that doesn’t mean that’s how much credit you have like on a PAYG phone. It means you have a credit account and that’s how much you’ve billed to it, meaning how much you’re “in debt” by until you pay. The financial industry use credit/debit the opposite way around to how many people understand them (cf, a “credit card” isn’t one you top up with credit and then spend).

You’ll have to contact Bulb on Monday morning to find out what’s going on with your account, and also you’ll need to ask whether the switch included your gas service. What does your IHD now indicate for gas?

Gas shows as normal and the balance is going down as expected with usage.

I’m going to email bulb now!

Gas shows as normal and the balance is going down as expected with usage.

I’m going to email bulb now!

Given the urgency of the situation, I’d suggest phoning them. Email will likely take a week or more for a reply.