Why are bulb having so many problems?

So, been reading and following the problems of late. & its got me wondering, at the start of 2018 200k customers, the employee base was 550+, October 2019 1.5 million customers, with what it looks like no more staff, less if anything due to covid.

Afraid to say its not looking very good,

I only have 1 request to get billed the correct amount for my usage each month please.

so am I right in thinking if you have a billing issue you will be unable to move to another supplier, I really don’t want to, but I cant handle the sporadic billing anymore.

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Hi @richard.evans.home60 :wave: :sunny:

Bulb has increased employment. Thank you for pointing that out, our website needs to be updated. We have also expanded to Spain, France and Texas.

I am sorry to hear about the billing issue. I can see that my my colleague Harry is currently looking into the billing related to a smart issue and is waiting for an update from the smart team.

You can still move suppliers however we would only be able to bill you when this error is fixed. I can see Harry is dealing with this in the complaint.

Thank you for your feedback and patience.


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Thanks for reply, was trying to understand the issues.

& don’t get me wrong im not leaving, however if things don’t improve in the next 6 months, I may well have to leave, I do follow & try to keep a bias view, but getting worried with the billing working then not working.

Richard Evans’ complaint mirrors my experience.

[1] The green bars in the online Energy Usage chart do not mirror the “energy used” in my bill. Why the difference? There is no indication that the Energy Usage chart is supposed to be estimated, so they should be the same.

[2] Every month I have submited actual meter readings 4 days before cut off, yet every month I see estimated readings. It is not clear

(a) whether my bill is based on the actual or on the estimated readings

(b) why there are estimated readings, since I submitted my actual readings in good time.

I called and was told that the estimated readings would no longer appear if I submitted actual readings on the actual day, but in fact they continue to appear. I simply want my actual readings to appear. How to get this?

[3] I have been told by the online help that the emailed Bill is only estimated. This is very confusing. Please can you explain what numbers are derived from actual readings, which from estimated readings, and why there seem to be so many different readings?

I apparently have 4 different sets of readings -

my actual reading 
your estimated reading 
the reading in the emailed bill 
the reading in the Energy Usage chart 

Please tell me which are actual, which are estimates, and why all these different readings and estimates differ from each other.

[4] I find that the people on online chat are obviously incompetent and do not understand Bulb’s processes, but are apparently content to read from pre-scripted responses. It is not helpful when there is a genuine cause for confusion (see above), to get answers which only add to the confusion.


The blind leading the blind

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Awful, sorry to read this.

TBH i like bulb, however your problems seen somewhat to echo mine, i know its been a difficult year, But its just being made so difficult, to keep track, ive now been forced to re sort my spreadsheet too be back in control, I have 3 rates to track Night Rate day Rate & peak rate, to be honest, took a minute, but now spreadsheet works, so i have some idea of monthly billing. however doing the gas i notice the Calorific value for gas changes, from 39.2 to 38.9 very small but obviously took me a few hours to work out drilling into it all. god my old meter was easy. You need a degree to just try and understand this stuff.

I hope you get your issues sorted

Hello @MatthewPollock, and welcome to Bulb’s community.

1- If the readings in the account are not being used for the bill (You mentioned estimated reads below), this will mean the energy usage chart will not be accurate unfortunately. This ties in with my point below:

2- I’d recommend to add your readings from 2 days before the submission date at the earliest. I couldn’t find your account to check this date specifically for you, but if you get in touch we can definitely let you know this. If it’s submitted too early, an estimate will be generated which is why it’s so important to get it on the right day.

3- Again, I think this is because we’re not getting the readings on the correct day, which is causing the confusion with so many different kinds of readings. The estimates themselves will all be the same on the bill and the Energy Usage chart, but obviously we’d rather

4- I’m really sorry to hear that. Is there any particular feature you think would help make a difference to the service you get from chat?

@richard.evans.home60 The transition to a new meter can be confusing and I’m sorry you’re still having a few issues with getting to grips with yours. Is there anything in particular you’d like clarifying regarding yours? We’re happy to link you to any resources we have about meter functions you’re still looking for.

We really value both your feedback so please do let us know what you’d like to see changes and any other points regarding billing or our services you’d like for us to look into.

Freya @ Bulb

Thanks for reply

  1. A bill would be nice :slight_smile: although I have resorted to keeping my own records and meter readings and costs in a spread sheet) until the smart team are able to sort * has been reported and harry is looking into I hope.

after working on so many old bills double checking notes, it kind of stuck out to me billing seems to get an issue. if tariff is changed or price increase’s for some people. I expect problems and work with you to address and report early. especially being on the early smart tariff. 3 readings 2 rates and a full reading. to make sure it all balances.

  1. Gas reading on website no data showing. ie graph of usage again, ive solved keeping my own records in spreadsheet now. with graphs lol.

OK, I will try 2 days before.

I was previously advised to enter readings 4 days before, but estimates kept arriving, with the result that I had both readings and estimates.
So I called and asked for advice. Then I was advised to enter my readings on the day of the bill. But unfortunately, by the time I put them in, an estimate had already been made.

So I will enter them 2 days before. According to your idea:
[1] The entered reading will then be used both for the bill and for the energy usage chart
[2] There will be no estimate for that month.
Is this correct?

As to the lack of knowledge if your staff, there are 2 alternatives:
a. Train them better
b. (cheaper) Add explanatory tooltips which make clear, what you have just explained.

Hey @richard.evans.home60,

I’ve just taken a look at the reason you don’t have a bill, and its a known issue that we’re working at solving so we will get that sent out to you ASAP - I’m really sorry there isn’t anything more I can do right now, but once that’s sorted everything should be up and running on your account as normal.

@MatthewPollock - readings two days before will definitely be used for your bills. If we aren’t getting smart readings, the smart usage graphs won’t work unfortunately.

I’ve noted your feedback and will pass it onto the relevant teams!


ok thanks, is there any time frame at all ? im working with my own taken readings and spreadsheet so I stay in control still.

Hi Georgie,

I have just submitted my 2 days before reading. Thanks for the notification.

Another issue. For the period 04 Jan to 03 Feb I was charged £339.50 for “energy used”
I am writing to say this seems unlikely.

The previous month I was charged £160.44
The month before that £173.51
The subsequent month £187.75

You will notice that these other charges are broadly similar. We have a 90 sq. m. apartment with 4 storage heaters on Economy 7, drawing 8.4 kw total. There is no other heating, except a small convector heater, which is new, and is rarely used, but which could explain the slight progressive increase. There is also water heating, which always comes on during the Economy 7 hours - nothing changed here. Similarly cooking - nothing changed here.

So it is really impossible to imagine that “energy used” would have suddenly doubled during the period 04 Jan to 03 Feb. There isn’t the equipment in the apartment to provide such energy use. The storage heating has been used at maximum level throughout the winter period. There is no other source of heat, and no way energy use could have doubled. So this increase which has been logged for this month just could not have happened. Something must be wrong either with the measurement, or with the description used.

Hey @MatthewPollock,

Unfortunately, I can’t find your account using the email you have registered here on Community. Please can you send me a DM here with your details and I can look into this for you?


Hi Georgie - Can I check that you received my message?

Hey @MatthewPollock - I’ve popped you a reply now! Sorry for the delay. :smile:

Problem has been fixed, got billed right upto 22/5 smart metering is now fully smart, smart tariff is working for us… IHD has been faultless for months now.

Well done we got there in the end. very happy & very happy to have used £400 worth of elec and gas since Jan 22st to May the 22nd, it even come in slightly cheaper than I predicted. granted i was only 18 pounds out over the whole period. but no nasty shocks.

Way to go Smart tarrif with Day Night & Peak reading all working as it should, i keep an eye on manual reading also :slight_smile:

Please thank harry, as im confident he has been chasing it up. well done smart team for eventually getting on top of it all :slight_smile: