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  • FIRST POST
    • dk5294
    • By dk5294 12th Mar 17, 12:26 PM
    • 169Posts
    • 21Thanks
    dk5294
    Direct debit for utilities
    • #1
    • 12th Mar 17, 12:26 PM
    Direct debit for utilities 12th Mar 17 at 12:26 PM
    My Nana is really struggling with her prepayment meter and budgeting. She hears there is going to be a cold snap and puts all but a few quid on her gas meter leaving herself with barely anything.

    She's 87 and quite sharp and mobile, so she is more than capable of going to the shops to top up, but she's certain the meter takes more. She had a credit meter with a payment card she added to at the post office, until a door to door sales man paid her a visit, telling her about the risks of falling behind with payments etc and got spooked by talk of debt collectors etc and let them put a meter in (I've lodged a complaint about this as I can't find any bills with her being more than a few pounds behind for a fortnight at the most). Now she'd much prefer her meter back but has been told the cards aren't available and a direct debit has to be set up! She doesn't have an account that accepts direct debits! Would it be possible for me to put my direct debit details on the mandate for her? It would obviously be her account, in her name. She understands a bill so would know what she's spending, how much is due etc (and for the judgemental people be certain she's not being fleeced by me).
Page 1
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 12th Mar 17, 12:59 PM
    • 1,837 Posts
    • 1,194 Thanks
    Robin9
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 17, 12:59 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 17, 12:59 PM
    It's good that you are taking an interest in your Nan' s utilities.

    Have you or someone else got POA ?

    Yes the DD can come from your account.
    • dk5294
    • By dk5294 12th Mar 17, 1:11 PM
    • 169 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    dk5294
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 17, 1:11 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 17, 1:11 PM
    No, I don't get involved in her money usually. Only offered to do this as the company said you couldn't get a payments card anymore to pay your account at the post office and you need a DD for a 'dry' meter. They said she could pay for the meter exchange with her credit (it's in the hundreds) from the ppm so they must be aware she's not a risk =\
    • LabRatty
    • By LabRatty 12th Mar 17, 1:51 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    LabRatty
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 17, 1:51 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 17, 1:51 PM
    Hi,
    Before you pay for a meter exchange, suggest you follow up the complaint and rattle their cage again, and see if you can get it changed back on the basis of 'inappropriate selling' to an elderly person.
    If for any reason she couldn't get out to top up the meter (illness, bad weather etc) there is a risk that the power may go off, meaning she has been made significantly more vulnerable by the actions of the door-to-door man, not less.
    Wishing you all the best with this,
    LR
    Save In 2017 #109
    • pennystretcher
    • By pennystretcher 12th Mar 17, 3:02 PM
    • 297 Posts
    • 1,318 Thanks
    pennystretcher
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 17, 3:02 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 17, 3:02 PM
    Follow up the complaint. Also is there a reason she can't get a normal energy meter and/or bank account with DD set up to split the energy payments over the year? If I was you, I'd check what bank account she has, ensure she switches on to an account paying the best interest on credit and get her swapped over. If Mr T current a/c 3% opens up again, maybe that would be an option?
    Last edited by pennystretcher; 12-03-2017 at 3:05 PM.
    MFW Nov 2017 £390 (almost there!!!)
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 12th Mar 17, 3:14 PM
    • 23,392 Posts
    • 13,594 Thanks
    xylophone
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 17, 3:14 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 17, 3:14 PM
    Why can't she have a normal meter?

    There seems no reason why she shouldn't have a normal bank account?

    Is her income so modest that she would qualify for pension credit?

    http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Factsheets/FS48_Pension_Credit_fcs.pdf?dtrk=true
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 12th Mar 17, 3:33 PM
    • 30,265 Posts
    • 19,144 Thanks
    DCFC79
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 17, 3:33 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 17, 3:33 PM
    If not already have 1 Id look into getting 1 of them signs or posters done to say cold calllers not welcome or words to that effect.
    Can people stop loaning money/being a guarator to family/friends, it rarely ends well and you lose out as your money is gone or you get shafted with being a guarantor.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 12th Mar 17, 4:57 PM
    • 1,837 Posts
    • 1,194 Thanks
    Robin9
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 17, 4:57 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 17, 4:57 PM
    If OP's Nana is anything like my MIL she probably doesn't want change. She is also potentially gullible and very trusting.

    Yes she may be able to get a Bank Account but doesn't want the hassle.

    She is an example of how an older generation that was used to a cash society is being excluded from a cashless one.


    PS Does she draw her pension in cash? and as another poster has said - get Pension Credit ?
    • Shakin Steve
    • By Shakin Steve 12th Mar 17, 6:05 PM
    • 1,035 Posts
    • 759 Thanks
    Shakin Steve
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 17, 6:05 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 17, 6:05 PM
    I pay for my mums telephone with BT from my bank account, it's not a problem to set up.
    I came into this world with nothing and I've got most of it left.
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