Martin Lewis calls energy company Bulb ‘outrageous’ over direct debit requests during energy crisis
Martin Lewis called energy company Bulb over “outrageous” direct debit requests during the current energy crisis.
The money-saving expert was taking calls from This Morning guests as he continued to try to limit damage to millions of customers across the UK who find themselves caught in the bankruptcy of energy companies and rising prices.
However, Martin was visibly distressed to hear a call from a Bulb customer in Hampshire, telling him and hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that the company had emailed her and her partner with a warning of a 60 percent direct debit hike from 1 November – despite over Â£ 100 credit with the company for the winter months.
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 Â£ 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:
âI 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 Â£ 100 in credit seems outrageous to me.
âThe whole 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 and then take them to the energy ombudsman. .
“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 us, âEvery year as winter approaches, we reach out to our members to give them an update. on their account and make sure it’s healthy, as people tend to use more energy during the colder months.
âWe are doing this 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: âWe 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 addressed to us, Bulb said: âFrom 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.”
This morning comes back at 10 a.m. every morning of the week.
The Martin Lewis Money Show will air at 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 7 with a special on the current energy crisis.