Utilities referrals

(Dan Mullen) #43

I switched from Bulb earlier this year and they took their last payment a week before the switch finalised. After that, I left my DD in place and it took about a month for my final readings to be verified and a final bill produced. This led to a refund of about £30, which they paid direct into my bank account. I then cancelled the DD.

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The bank is not allowed to ask for proof, that is the whole point, you say its done in error the bank doesn’t have any flexibility to deny your claim. The merchant then has to prove it was legitimate. With all the main banks they refund immediately, Staring doesn’t because its definition of immediate is the scheme definition which is by the end of the next day.

That has been built into the direct debit guarantee since day one.

People make things more complicated than they are. When the guarantee is probably one of the simplest banking rules there is.

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I can tell my credit card provider than I never received a mail order purchase, doesn’t make it right! :sweat_smile:

Is there a reference anywhere to the scheme definition of next day?


It’s not right not to pay what you owe, but there are more ways to pay for your energy than DD

That’s always been my experience in the past when switching providers (I switch quite frequently), sometimes with longer time frames though. Noone else has ever taken a dd after ceasing to be my supplier (except for one final payment of I was in debit). Not even those that take payments in arrears.

That a provider that takes payment in advance would continue to take scheduled payments even when you are in credit is somewhat unbelievable.

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Not the same situation, the account was closed, so until a final bill is issued then no one, not the company or the customer knows the amount, so claiming the amount is incorrect isn’t lying.

The direct debit scheme full rules are probably on the website, I am not in the office, so don’t have things handy, but yes it clearly states in the rules about next day in them.


They’re a shoddily run company, but although the supply will have stopped I wouldn’t expect the account to be closed until after the final bill has been calculated and paid.

It’d be great to get a look at the rules around this (especially around the timings) if you get the chance sometime. The website only uses the word immediately as far as I know.

(Liam) #49

Well, if anyone’s after a bulb referral link, mines:

Anybody using it before 23:59 on Wednesday 9th of Jan will get £100 credited to their bulb account instead of the usual £50 (and, of course, mine too).


Just received my £100 credit! Cheers Lawrence :ok_hand:

(Lawrence Ferguson) #51

thank you to! i emailed them almost instantly asking to skip a payment…January is killing me!

No council tax or utilities next month!

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(Liam) #52

Seems like an opportune moment to subtly plug my referrer link again. The £100 credit expires tonight at midnight - I just got an email about it!

(Cailan Jones) #53

I’ve been with bulb for a year now and they have been the best so far. I recently received an email from them saying they have credited £10 to my account because I had waited on the phone for 11 minutes to speak to someone 3 weeks earlier. This is how companies should behave, I thought. They will pay any exit fees when you leave your old supplier. They have consistently been the cheapest for me for the last year. You get monthly email reminders about your direct debit due. If your account is in credit by more than your monthly direct debit you can request a refund. They offer the warm home discount. They also operate a referral system where you and the one refer can get £50 each added to your account when you sign up. Because I’ve been with them a year if you sign up using the following link by 16th Jan 2019 they will credit your account with £100. That’s by Wednesday midnight. Tonight.

(Tom) #54

If anyone is somehow yet to sign up for Bulb, I’ve got the £100 referral bonus until this time next week.


So, in case anyone has any interest in the ongoing saga that is economy energy:

A quick recap: I switched from them to Pure Planet on 3 Dec (2 months and 3 weeks ago). Despite being in credit with them, and them collecting DDs in advance they collected a further DD a couple of weeks later.

What’s happened since? Well, not much. They kept issuing me monthly bills every month and kept trying to collect direct debits on every 15th.

Late January I had enough and asked about my final bill, which lo and behold was finally generated on the 8th Feb (not without another useless monthly bill being generated on the 7 Feb - more than 2 months after I had left them).

A week later still no sign of my refund. So I ask. “Refund will arrive within 10 business days” (that’s last Friday). Today still no refund. So I ask again “Oh no, it takes 10 business days for the refund to be approved [apparently the approval process doesn’t even start until I request it?]. It’ll take another 14 calendar days for the refund to arrive in your account.”

Out of curiosity I called my bank to enquire and they told me that Economy Energy still tried to collect a direct debit on 15 Feb (7 days after issuance of final bill) on the now cancelled direct debit mandate.

So, that’s where we stand today: They still owe me some £20 and I’ll be unlikely to see those until 3 months after switched away from them. Noone knows if they’ll keep trying their luck on that cancelled direct debit mandate until the end of time. This company is such a mess, they are even a serious competitor to Curve in that regard. Utterly unbelievable.

(Marcel Ruhf) #56

Maybe just claim the refund via the Direct Debit Guarantee, via your bank.
They should normally issue your refund immediately and reclaim the money from the merchant later.


I did, actually. The £20 is what’s left afterwards. I probably could make another indemnity claim, but firstly I don’t think that’d be really correct, as the payment that would have to claim for was correctly taken at the time, and secondly I’d then owe them money, as I would be refunded a full monthly payment.

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I switched a couple of months back from Pure Planet to Bulb.

I found Pure Planet rather hard work due to not being able to speak to a human.

They over charged me on my final bill, as in, they used a completely different reading to the one I passed to Bulb. They flatly refused to reimburse me the difference until I threaten going to the Ombudsman.

All of a sudden they agreed they had made a mistake, though, I am still waiting for my refund…

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I wouldn’t threaten to go to the ombudsman, I would just ask for my letter of final reply and take it to them. We can’t give companies the opportunity to continue their shady practices with those who won’t threaten with the ombudsman.

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Oh goody goody gumdrops, just received this from Bulb:

Hi Rob,

Break out the bunting and tiny flags. Wholesale energy costs have fallen since December, so we’re lowering our prices again from 21st March ! Based on your usage, your energy will cost about £27 less per year and will be £209 cheaper than the Big Six’s standard tariffs.

Your new gas unit rate is 3.34p per kWh. Your electricity and gas standing charges will both stay at 20.44p per day each. Your electricity unit rate will stay as it is. These all include VAT.

This is our second price drop this winter
Bulb only has one tariff, so every Bulb member gets to enjoy the saving, no matter when they joined us. This means you don’t have to worry about whether you’re on our best deal or not. We just think that’s fair.

We’ll drop our prices again if costs keep falling
Sending emails like this is the best part of our job, so we want to keep doing it. We’ll always drop our prices when wholesale energy costs reduce by at least £20 for a typical home. We promised this in [our Pricing Principles in 2016. In fact, this is our 9th price drop since we started Bulb and we’ve only raised them 4 times.

Here’s a blog post with more information about what’s happened with wholesale energy costs recently. Spoiler alert, they’ve come down a lot since September.

You can change your monthly payments online
Your Bulb Account payments page will tell you what your payments should be based on your predicted usage. Head there to see if you should [lower your monthly payments].

It really makes our month when we can send emails like this. And we hope you’re halfway pleased too. So get your party poppers ready for the 21st. We’ll keep the drumroll going until then.

We love having you with us,

Amit & Hayden,
Bulb Co-founders

And if anyone’s interested, here’s my referral link (we both get £50 if you sign up). And remember, Bulb pay your exit fees if you want to escape from your current supplier early.


Huh. Good news, but I’ve not received the email. Hope I’m not one of the customers missing out.

(Dan Mullen) #62

I think they only have the one variable rate tariff, so it will apply to everyone.

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