Energy Company Makes Major Changes to Direct Debit Payments and Customers are FURIOUS
A major energy company has sparked anger after it halved the notice period it gives to notify customers of a change to their direct debit payments.
Millions of Bulb Energy customers will be affected when the new terms and conditions come into effect on August 22.
Customers who pay their energy bills by direct debit will now be notified that their bill could change with just five days’ notice.
One person tweeted: “Wow, BulbUK. Just wow. Never felt threatened by a new T&Cs email before. Thank you for this new life experience.”
Currently, Bulb customers are notified of a change in their direct debit amount at least 10 days before payment is due.
However, the new rules mean that customers could face increases in their direct debit amount at very short notice.
A spokesperson for Bulb said: “We’ve updated our terms and conditions to accommodate industry changes like new, faster switching rules and more frequent price cap changes.
“We have also reviewed our broader terms and conditions and brought them in line with those of other providers where they were not previously.
“As part of these changes, we’ve updated the notice period we’ll give customers if we need to change their direct debit, so we can quickly change their payment amount if it’s too much or too little. “
Bulb also warned that customers who threaten not to pay their energy bills will face late fees and the use of debt collection agencies.
In response to this person, one person tweeted: ‘Surprisingly sinister of BulbUK to update terms and conditions & send threatening email regarding debt collection for non-payment as talks on disobedience to paying bills increase.”
It comes after Martin Lewis warned there was an impetus among some to deliberately not pay their bills in October.
How do I check that my direct debit is correct?
Check your actual usage against what you’re billed to make sure you’re not paying more for energy than you should.
You can do this by taking a meter reading and comparing it to the usage shown on your bill.
If you step out of a cheap solution and switch to a standard rate, you could pay double thanks to the recent price cap increase.
So if you see a similar increase in your payout, it’s not necessarily wrong.
And, if you’re paying less than you think you should pay, discuss it with your energy supplier.
In recent weeks it has been reported that half a million customers will have their direct debits reviewed after some companies increased them by 100% or more.
How do I challenge an unfair levy increase?
If you think you are paying too much, ask your energy supplier to review your payments and if you are not satisfied, complain to your energy supplier.
Your supplier must reimburse you or explain to you exactly why not otherwise.
Always take regular meter readings to back up your claims.
A reading leaves no room for error, as it indicates exactly how much gas and/or electricity you have consumed.
If it is lower than your estimate, you can ask your provider to reduce your monthly charge to a more suitable amount.
If you are unhappy with your supplier’s response and have been waiting for a response for more than eight weeks, take your complaint to the Energy Ombudsman to dispute it.