Martin Lewis calls Bulb ‘scandalous’ after direct debit requests amid energy crisis
Financial guru Martin Lewis called energy company Bulb “outrageous” for its demands during the current energy crisis.
Speaking on This Morning on Thursday, October 7, he was responding to calls from viewers to try and give advice as energy prices are expected to soar.
Many guests were concerned about rising prices and the bankruptcy of energy companies. Nine energy companies have already closed since September as wholesale gas and electricity prices hit a record high.
Ofgem has already warned that there could still be significant price hikes ahead, as the price cap is expected to rise further in April 2022.
A worried Bulb customer caught Martin’s attention, Hull reports. She told him and This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that the company emailed her and her partner with a warning of a 60% direct debit hike at from 1 November – despite crediting over £ 100 with the company in preparation for the winter months.
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Appellant Zoe went on to explain that she had spoken to two reps, she had managed to get them to “decrease the amount slightly” – but only if she maintained a credit of over £ 100 as a result.
Zoe also claims she had to make a top-up payment to meet the terms of her new contract – something Martin was unhappy to hear:
“I have to be very careful what I say. But let me say this isn’t the first time I’ve heard of a similar case with Bulb.
“… To increase people’s direct debits by 60 percent while your prices go up by about 10 or 12 percent for someone with credit seems totally inappropriate.
“The terms and conditions of the licensed energy company state that you are entitled to a fair direct debit.”
Martin went on to explain that the direct debit process works with customers who are expected to be in credit next winter, but more than likely in debt at the end of the season.
He later added: “If you have substantial credit increasing it by 60% seems disproportionate, it seems unfair, I would like a formal justification – the argument that you should still have £ 100 in credit seems outrageous to me.
“The point of the offtake cycle is that you don’t always have to be a creditor – I would make a formal complaint, ask them to justify the increase in the offtake, then take them to the energy mediator .
“We know Bulb is one of those companies looking at their financial options and what they can do.”
After reaching out to Bulb following Martin’s segment on ITV’s This Morning, a spokesperson told Hull: “Every year as winter approaches, we reach out to our members to give them an update. day on their account and make sure it’s healthy, as people tend to use more energy during the colder months.
“We’re doing it as usual this year and will be working with our members to make sure their payments are right for them. “
In response to the company’s financial stability, a statement on their website read: “We want to be clear that Bulb members don’t have to worry about their energy supply – This is a period. extraordinary for the energy sector and we ‘I will aim to keep members in the loop.
In an additional statement, Bulb said: “From time to time, we explore various opportunities to fund our business plans and continue our mission of reducing bills and CO2 emissions.
“Like everyone in the industry, we monitor wholesale prices and their impact on our business.”
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