Very Unhappy! Explanation from Bulb needed!

I am trying to get some sort of acknowledgement from Bulb. Please see below, a copy of my enquiry to help@bulb.co.uk sent on 31 January at 15.27, to which I have had no response other than an automated reply.

I have also received further emails asking me to increase my monthly payment.

I am re-posting on this forum in the hope that someone from Bulb can explain why there was no notification sent to me when my usage increased massively - but they can continue to demand further money from me.

I will be putting a stop on my monthly direct debit and am in contact with OFGEM regarding this.

"On 7 January I input my meter reading.

On 21 January I received an email showing my usage for the period was more than 7 (SEVEN!!!) times more than my normal usage. On checking my meter - I realise I had entered the reading incorrectly. So then entered the correct reading and was asked to provide photographic evidence - which I did. I was quite disappointed that my account was not updated/corrected, to show my true bill at this stage and that I no longer owed Bulb any money, but thought I would wait until my the end of my billing period to check my account was in order.

You can imagine my surprise, when today, I received an email from you again, telling me that if I do not increase my monthly payment - you would do this automatically!

So I have AGAIN submitted the correct meter reading and attached the photographs for today and also the one taken on 21 January 2020.

I would be grateful if you could amend my account immediately, and action BOTH meter readings that have been submitted.

I feel very upset that you are quick enough to demand further monies from me without investigating why there was such a huge increase ( more than 7 times my normal usage) in my consumption.

Please confirm receipt of this message, and that my account has now been updated. I would also be grateful if you could confirm how much money Bulb owes to me, and how this money will be returned to me if I choose to change suppliers.

I look forward to hearing from you today, informing me that this situation has been resolved. I can be contacted on ************* with your confirmation."

Sorry to hear about your troubles. I’m just another customer, so can’t really help. However, could I suggest that you edit your post and remove your phone number? I doubt you really want it visible to the entire internet, where anyone could respond to this post pretending to be Bulb.

I couldn’t help notice the time of your email. The 31st of January was last Friday. 15:27 was 2.5 hours before closing time. Today is the next day of business, and it’s now 3 hours after opening. So that’s 5.5 hours total response time so far. I think it’s a bit unrealistic to expect a reply so soon, from any company. And this doesn’t even take into account Bulb’s rather poor response time to email which I believe currently stands at several weeks!

I would suggest in your position the best course of action is to try phoning them up, or using the webchat if you’ve can’t or don’t like using the phone. Either of those two real time methods will receive a quicker result than email, but you’ll probably still be on hold for a long time.

It does beg the question given that so many customers are experiencing the problem where their meter readings are rejected due to being outside the “expected” range, that your mistake could go through so easily even though it was 7 times over expected usage. Perhaps @William_at_Bulb could offer some insight on how this mistake wasn’t caught by automated checks.

Good luck with resolving your problem :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi @cheryl_luk,

Thanks for letting us know about the wrong reading - I’ve just corrected that and sent out a new statement for you.

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Now, how’s that for service? R-

The exact formula that we use for accepting a reading is quite complicated, but I would imagine that @cheryl_luk’s reading will have only just made it in.

Since Cheryl hadn’t submitted a meter reading for a few months, our reading tolerance was going to be higher than usual, compounded by the fact that we’re in winter so we’re expecting higher usage.

This bill was 6 times larger than the direct debit amount, which is strange, but not impossible if we haven’t had any readings for a few months. To the human eye however, this was quite clearly a mistake, so we’re sorry that we didn’t pick up on it sooner.

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That makes sense. Yes, I guess the monthly tolerance will be multiplicative and so it doesn’t take many months to go by before the range of likely possible values becomes huge.

The lesson learned here for @cheryl_luk is to submit readings much more frequently :slightly_smiling_face:

Dear William

Thank you for your prompt response in resolving this issue - you have almost restored my faith in Customer Service with Bulb Energy.

Just for clarification, I did not feel the need to input my meter readings every month, as I could see from my statements, that my account was in a very healthy state for the coming winter months. However, from now on I will make a better effort to submit readings and maybe you could suggest to your IT Team that if there is such a spike in usage this should be flagged up for attention. I also understand the automated emails regarding monthly payments, but these did come across quite strongly, which was quite upsetting, as I had already submitted 2 further correct readings, supported with photographic evidence, and knew that the funds were sitting with you to pay for the correct usage.

To complete this query and fully restore my faith, could you please advise when the outstanding balance showing on my updated statement of today, is to be returned to me.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks William!

"Just for clarification, I did not feel the need to input my meter readings every month, as I could see from my statements, that my account was in a very healthy state for the coming winter months. "

Yes, seems fair enough doesn’t it? I submit my readings every month and get an automated response thanking me and saying “Another reading in about 3 months would be ideal to keep things shipshape.”
Well, there is no way I’m going to let that happen, my readings will go in every month, and there is absolutely no way that doing it every 3 months will “keep things shipshape”, unless you like getting inaccurate bills and payment balances.

Join the club in pointing out to Bulb that the “Another reading in about 3 months” text is completely ridiculous when bills are sent monthly. They’ve said before they’ll look into changing it, but nothing ever happens. I don’t think there’s actually been any progress in fixing anything for at least 6 months now. Things are actually going downhill, there’s more stuff broken now than there ever was. Quite depressing really.

According to William they’ve got this fantastic new system, Amazon Connect, to fix the call waiting time, one wonders if they can’t get something from Amazon to fix the accounts/meter readings
Although methinks it would take the combined efforts of, JB, BG and the ghost of SJ with a bit of help from whatshisfacebook EM and RB it would be beyond even DT and his Twitter account. It has gone beyond the depressing stage and now would try the patience of Job, in the meantime I will stick with manual readings and smets1 for ALAP

Bulb need to take a leaf out of the book of the supplier I have recently moved to. Their opening times are : Mon - Sun, 7am - 11pm via Telephone & 24/7 Live Chat.

I know chat works as I contacted them a week or so ago at almost midnight and received an immediate response. My query was quite simple in that I spotted an error in one their FAQ documents and surprise surprise they updated the document during my chat. Their email is also good in that I got a timely response to a separate query about my units rates and standing charges as there was an error in their welcome email to me (all to do whether they were inclusive of vat), they agreed there was an error and immediately sent me new welcome email with the correct details.

Also there a clear “Contact” link on their home page.

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Yes read your post quite impressive

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