What can I do about Bulb's failure to manage my account competently?

I submitted a meter reading to Bulb on 8 June (gas and electric) and received confirmation emails to prove it.

The readings were not applied to my account.

I raised the issue with Bulb and received an email telling me the readings would be applied soon.

The email also told me that I could not be supplied with a new “IHD” despite the fact that I had not asked for one!

I was asked to take and submit photos of my IHD screens - screens that don’t exist on my IHD!

So many years of stressful problems with this company have left me at the end of the road and I really think there is no solution to the unhelpful and ongoing incompetence of this company and its contempt for customers like me.

The solution to my problems was for this awful company to replace my dumb SMETS1 Meter with a working smart meter but, no, despite the problems that have existed for years (they were unable to correct an erroneous opening meter reading) they have simply refused to do this despite competitors clearly being able to do so for their customers.

I really don’t know what to do.

Bulb is completely unable to resolve these simple problems. Their last email to me about not being able to supply me with a new IHD when I was not even asking for one made me want to give up especially as they were asking me to take all sorts of screenshots of non existent IHD screens.

Maybe it is a tactic from Bulb to grind a customer down. After years of dealing with expensive account problems and having my direct debit charges doubled in recent months, it is certainty working.

Meanwhile my meter readings have still not been processed by Bulb.

Has anybody managed, somehow, to receive a competent and “can do” service from Bulb and if so how did you manage to do it?

As I understand it there is a three day window when Bulb ask that you supply your readings. When you do so within this window they use the readings to calculate your latest bill. In my experience this always works, including one time when I gave the reading on the third day when an estimated bill had already been issued - Bulb withdrew the estimated bill, calculated and issued a new one using my reading and issued that. They also kept me updated with e-mails throughout the process.

One can supply a reading at any time, of course. However if supplied outside of the three day window then this reading will not be used directly in a bill, this is because the bills are calculated at a set time each month and this correlates the bill with the readings - actual or estimated, at the time of the associated three day window.

However any reading given outside of the three day window will be recorded (look at your readings page to see the record of an individual reading) and registered and will feed into the way in which the algorithm calculates the estimated reading. In other words a reading outside of the window is not wasted even though it never appears directly on a bill. Again in my own experience I have had this happen.

I can’t tell from your post whether or not your reading of the 8th was given within your own reading-window - but could what I have said explain at least a part of your problem?

I have had recent experience of phoning the help line and had a faultless experience. The automated answer gave times when the lines are less busy and I called during one of these periods, got through in about ten minutes and my issue was resolved immediately. Helpful and professional Bulb person who dealt with quite a complex matter quickly and well.

Thank you but no - the readings were submitted within the timeframe, not used by Bulb and no statement has been issued.

Now I am required to submit another reading.

The explanation unfortunately is Bulb’s lack of customer service competence as evidenced by their email to me explaining that they could not provide me with a new IHD when my problem was nothing to do with an IHD and I had stated nothing about an IHD.

Bulb is the worst company I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with - beyond awful customer service and an inability to resolve basic problems in a “can do” manner.

I’m paying double per month what I was paying because of previous billing errors and an inability to correct an opening meter reading from 2018. I can even access a smart tariff because my SMETS1 meter is still dumb despite having been enrolled into the new network.

I am sorry that you are having problems with customer service, I do know how that can be and you have my sympathy. I used to be with Npower and it took me almost a year to convince them that there was a serious problem with my meter. Turned out my Economy7 and day rates were switched so that my usage was recorded at the incorrect rates. Heaven knows how many years the thing had been set like that, but I eventually got a refund back to the date I moved in which was enough to pay for my next three years electricity. Then, when I did start paying again I discovered that Npower were ruining my credit rating. My “quarterly” bills were issued anything between six weeks and six months apart (so I never knew when to give a reading) and in some insane estimated amount. (They sent me one bill for a summer quarter which was higher than the estimated annual total which they sent in the same envelope, the estimated bills were hundreds and thousands higher than the actual usage.) So I would send a reading, they would rescind the bill and issue a correct one, which I would pay. But they never removed any of the rescinded bills from my credit history, so they stood as unpaid debts. I only found out when I found I couldn’t even open a deposit account in a bank because of my “debts”. When I complained to Npower I was told that it “wasn’t their policy” to correct the customer credit history. It was only when I pointed out that my job required me to be positively vetted for security, therefore I could loose my employment because their policy falsely showed me to be in significant debt, so I would have no choice but to fight this - though my MP and the courts - that they changed their policy and corrected my credit history. Took several months and one single Npower employee in the complaints team who really did take on his company on my behalf.

All in all, I’m finding Bulb quite restful in comparison.

I submitted electricity readings to Bulb on 9 May and 8 June - neither of those readings have been used by Bulb.

My Direct Debit with Bulb is twice as much as it was a few months ago. This is not due to the price rises but rather to Bulb’s inability - over a period of years - to correct a meter reading error and then to process basic meter readings.

Switching to Bulb was one of the stupidest decisions I have ever made: Bulb accepts no ownership for resolving problems.