What are my options after cancelling a DD?

Hi all

Like many of you Bulb have decided to put up my DD to an unacceptable amount and even what they claim to be the minimum amount I can go to is not something that I’m happy with.

Obviously the live chat doesn’t work but I think this is an experience we all have. They want to refer me to a company that helps people manage their finances :roll_eyes: are you kidding me?? I don’t need help managing my finances I just don’t want my DD amount changed without my consent.

Please can somebody who has done this explain to me how I can move to a PAYG option. Seeing as it is impossible to contact Bulb. Do I just go to my online banking, cancel the DD and then what?

Bulb only ever contacted me first once, back in November/December when they wanted to convince me to get a smart meter. At the time I already wanted to leave, it was only 2 months in but it was clear already at the time how bad the service was. Of course, I wanted to wait for all my credit to be used up before I left and now it is not allowed to switch at all.

If someone can give me instructions please, I’m happy to pay for what I use but none of this ridiculous “building credit” thing which is just a scaremongering tactic and makes no sense. Especially when we’re going towards the warmer months.

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Hi, I have recently had the same experience, if you email help@bulb.co.uk you can ask to switch to a variable direct debit or to pay by BACS. Either option means you just pay for what you use. It did take me a few goes to achieve this and it really does depend on who answers your email.

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You can do this yourself. After you have cancelled your DD you simply set up a new one. On your account page you will be asked to enter date and amount which you just ignore, Your DD is now ‘open’ and Bulb will collect your debit balance 14 days after statement date each month. If you do not have smart meters you will need to furnish readings to avoid estimated bills. Let Bulb know you have done this.

@geevo41 I tried that but when I re did the DD it simply set up with previous information. I had to ask bulb support staff to change it for me


When I cancelled my DD I got a message on my Bulb account to set up a payment method. I filled in bank details for the new DD which appeared on my bank account DD list shortly afterwards. I then got a new message to set up date and amount which is still there - Bulb have confirmed on previous threads that this message should be ignored if you wish to pay statement amount.
In my Bulb account settings there is a box to edit DD settings which if you click it shows the date and amount which Bulb want you to pay - you must not click the ‘confirm’ button to have an open DD.

Following this with interest. My Dad is with Bulb and they wanted to increase his payments to nearly £80 a month. He’s a pensioner and this increase will mean he goes without food. His usual bill is around £40 per month, he gets several fuel payments and his current balance is several hundred pounds. He was getting in such a state over it that I cancelled the DD for him online with his bank. I will try the above without adding an amount and see if that works.


As your Dad is in credit, when you set up the new DD without confirming the date and amount Bulb will then claim his statement amount 14 days after the bill is posted, reducing his credit. Only when he goes into debit will he have to start paying again. If he has smart meters he will need to do nothing but if not he should furnish readings to prevent estimated bills. I assure you this method will work but it is a good idea to tell Bulb you have done this.

I haven’t done this but mostly because I assumed that I would be forced to enter an amount. Which is what happens if I try to change my DD from the app. Not only it tells me that it can’t be blank but if I enter my desired amount it tells me I can’t enter anything below the minimum that’s been set for me.

I eventually got through to customer service on the phone (I know right? I’m as shocked as you are) we discussed various payment options of which my preferred was top-up with a credit or debit card and then the person I spoke to actually mentioned that my DD could be made variable so I’d only pay for what I use every month! Mind blown.

I don’t think this is a well advertised option for obvious reasons but it’s the one I picked and I got an email confirmation of it. Sounds like for the person who cancelled their dad’s DD this might also be a viable option, once all their dad’s credit has been used up?

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I don’t have the app and set up my new open DD on my computer. You do not have to use up your credit before setting up an open DD because Bulb will only take debit amounts with this arrangement.

Hello @Boo79 and @EMf42wr

Thanks for reaching out on community. We apologise there has been concerns over your payments.

These increases aim to keep the account in a good place over the next year however we do offer alternative payment options like switching to prepay, paying variable direct debit, paying a reduced payment through financial assessments etc.

You are both welcome to pay via variable DD where you pay the exact cost of your bill per month and payment is taken automatically. This is preferred to canceling your DD as you would be required to manually pay.

You can switch back to a more set DD at any time but this would need to match our suggested payment or within 90% of the suggested payment.

If you are in credit, we will take away from the credit first and then will take payments once you go into debit.

–Carl :bulb:


You have given out false information - you say that cancelling your DD would require you to manually pay.

If you cancel a DD and then set up a new one without confirming date and amount Bulb will collect statement amounts each month after using up any credit.

I do not know if you have deliberately tried to mislead customers or are just ignorant of the facts.

The information I have given out on this thread is accurate and your reply implies that I do not know what I am talking about, which is disgraceful.

Hi @geevo41 :wave:t4: Yes you are correct, if you cancel a direct debit without setting up a new direct debit for the variable payments then you can still pay manually however we advise our members to update the direct debit just incase if you miss a payment which can incur £15.00 delayed fees.

We also advise to our manual paying members to make payments within 14 days of when their statement has been generated. If you have set up the Variable direct debit then this will be taken automatically. :smiley:

Sorry for any confusion.

–Suki :hibiscus:

So after discussing with a customer service officer and receiving written confirmation, on Friday 1 April I had a payment taken from my bank account equivalent to the amount Bulb wanted to set my DD to.

Separately to that however, I received TWO bills for the period from March 1-March 31, of which one seems to override the other, and both say that my account is in debt now.
The app also shows this.

How can my account be £7 in debt when you have taken £70 from my bank account?

The telephone lines are back to being uncontactable and I need some clarity here @Suki_at_Bulb ?

The payment shows as “pending” on my app but it has most definitely come out of my bank account.

Following this with great interest. On my own post "direct Debits doubled ",. I’ve asked to pay only for what I use. Nobody from bulb answers.

I’m stressed and worried.

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Following with interest. Bulb emailed me in Feb to say they would increase my DD from March by £45, even though I have remained in credit over the winter. However this month they increased the DD by a further £55. My DD has now increased by £100 in 2 months and latterly without being informaed/consulted. That is a price increase of £1,200 over a year. My payment left my bank account on 28th March, but the bill was generated on the 1st and does not show any pending payments, so they claim that I am £100 in debit, when in fact when the payment clears I will be just over £100 in credit, and at the amount they are proposing to collect each month that credit balalnce is going to increase significantly over the warmer months. I can’t get in touch with Bulb and can’t reduce my DD. Not all robbers wear masks…

It is normal practice by Bulb to show your DD as pending although the funds have left your account. It takes a few days for your Bulb account to update. Yes, your Bulb account will show you temporarily in debit but nobody will chase you up for it as Bulb actually have your money. It’s just waiting to be allocated to your account.

Bulb are looking to increase my DD from £203 to £511 so I’ve decided to switch to variable DD thanks to your advice! One clarification though - do I cancel my current DD via my bank? I can’t see a way to cancel it from my online bulb account?

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Quick update - i spammed the chatbot (entered a custom search term and clicked ‘chat now’ for about 5 mins) until I eventually got through to a human. They managed to switch my account over to variable DD quite quickly. They even managed to intercept my next DD before it got taken. Hope this helps someone.