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  • FIRST POST
    • philthunder
    • By philthunder 30th Nov 17, 8:52 PM
    • 7Posts
    • 0Thanks
    philthunder
    Bulb useless at simple maths.
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 17, 8:52 PM
    Bulb useless at simple maths. 30th Nov 17 at 8:52 PM
    We have been with Bulb for 6 months now. Wondering why we were getting such high energy bills. I downloaded all the emails and bills for the last 6 months and after much searching I found we had been overcharged by over 1000 Kw in August. Checking the bill I also found the cubic feet to Kw conversion was also out, digging further the daily standing charge was out.
    By now I was beginning a headache, further investigation found every bill had discrepancies. None were consistent though, it was like going through a primary maths class, simple mistakes abounded. Prices rounded up by 2 or 3 pence. Even the readings were out, some months we were charged up to a reading, next month were were charged up to the one we had just been billed for!
    Some credit to Bulb though, in October they said all the bills were wrong and issued a fresh bill from the beginning, THAT was also wrong! November bill was also out, that was reissued, THAT was also out.
    I am bracing myself for another session on the phone.
    Anyone who is with Bulb should scrutinise every section of their bills, they are possibly being ripped off wholesale. Particularly note the gas conversion from cubic feet to kilowatts, even though Bulb give a convenient conversion chart at the bottom of the bills.
    Last edited by philthunder; 01-12-2017 at 9:02 AM.
Page 1
    • Lord Baltimore
    • By Lord Baltimore 1st Dec 17, 1:17 AM
    • 1,307 Posts
    • 1,297 Thanks
    Lord Baltimore
    • #2
    • 1st Dec 17, 1:17 AM
    • #2
    • 1st Dec 17, 1:17 AM
    The Bulb Community have mentioned billing issues on the bulb website. Looks like you'll need to keep a close eye on their calculations with your own spreadsheet. I would always reconcile the maths of any energy firm as a matter of course; too many people rely on Companies to get things right.

    I prefer to manage my money myself
    all your base are belong to us
    • nic_c
    • By nic_c 1st Dec 17, 8:39 AM
    • 1,123 Posts
    • 640 Thanks
    nic_c
    • #3
    • 1st Dec 17, 8:39 AM
    • #3
    • 1st Dec 17, 8:39 AM
    Well they have to get that £100 for each new sign-up using referrals from somewhere

    It should be fairly easy to make an excel sheet with all the relevant formulas in that you simply type in useage and the time period and it will give the charge. That way you could keep track. Have you highlighted the inaccuracies to bulb?
    • philthunder
    • By philthunder 1st Dec 17, 8:58 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    philthunder
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 17, 8:58 AM
    Oh Yes
    • #4
    • 1st Dec 17, 8:58 AM
    Well they have to get that £100 for each new sign-up using referrals from somewhere

    It should be fairly easy to make an excel sheet with all the relevant formulas in that you simply type in useage and the time period and it will give the charge. That way you could keep track. Have you highlighted the inaccuracies to bulb?
    Originally posted by nic_c
    They show 2 decimal places on the bill for each charge unit Gas 11.97 Electric 2.5 pence. but charge at 4 decimal places 11.9729 and 2.5008 and nowhere on the bill is that mentioned, "apparently ok with OFGEM", but even then they get the figures wrong. None of my previouse companies only showed 2 decimal places.
    Revised bill, new inaccuracies. Wonderful, calling them inefficient hardly describes them. Anyone know how to contact the CEO?
    Last edited by philthunder; 01-12-2017 at 9:53 AM.
    • philthunder
    • By philthunder 1st Dec 17, 10:17 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    philthunder
    • #5
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:17 AM
    • #5
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:17 AM
    For anyone confused as to how a bill should be presented, Ogem's letter to suppliers, says in the relative part here:
    Also, the information on the consumerís bill should reflect the information the
    consumer is provided at the time they entered into a contract.
    Last edited by philthunder; 01-12-2017 at 10:34 AM.
    • chiny
    • By chiny 1st Dec 17, 10:45 AM
    • 83 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    chiny
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:45 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 17, 10:45 AM
    Oh drat... I am due to start the tariff swap process in 2 weeks time, and the current candidate is Bulb. Not good then.

    I am currently with Bristol Energy who have been flawless, and their tariffs are contractually to 3 decimal places but shown to 2 decimal places. Their arithmetic appears correct and unsurprisingly, the £££ are rounded to 2 decimal places also (aka pence). So Bulb may be correct re OFGEM on what appears acceptable. No excuse for dodgy arithmetic of course.

    I abandoned my energy spreadsheet 8 years ago by the look of it and opted for an app on my phone. It keeps tabs on meter readings, plus gives daily/weekly/monthly/annual use in kWh and £, in figures and graphs. So, I know this cold snap last week has increased my gas bill by £6.67 - I claim an MSE nerd prize
    Last edited by chiny; 01-12-2017 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Typo
    • philthunder
    • By philthunder 5th Dec 17, 4:25 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    philthunder
    • #7
    • 5th Dec 17, 4:25 PM
    Bulb working on c*ck ups
    • #7
    • 5th Dec 17, 4:25 PM
    Spoke to Bulb help desk yesterday (yes they do answer fast, but that is little help when they are of no help). Explained that bills were wrong, and some of the straight forward bills like killowatt usage on the electric were out. I then got the waffle, "ah but those are rounded up figures." I explained that I had calculated to 4 decimal places the same as the actual unit billing charge. Then rounded up to 2 decimal places and I was still being overcharged by 4p. Nit picking, yes but I expect a a bill to be accurate. At that stage she put me on hold, probably to get in the queue for the calculator. When she came back there was further waffle about how they charge to four decimal places but the bill only showed 2 for the billing cost. Yes but taking that into account the bill is still wrong. After she went through it again I asked for a supervisor. Milles came on and we went through the same scenario, he then went off and took priority possession of the calculator. After much deliberation he admitted the figures were wrong. At last! Right now lets go through the gas bill that was corrected after I showed them the last mistakes. Pennies rounded up 6p overcharged on that bill. "Ah yes we have had trouble with the billing" Right what about the cubic feet to kilowatts conversion as shown on the base of the bill. You have overcharged 8kW on the conversion. "Ah yes we are working on that, that conversion chart is wrong" Not according to other power companies. "No thats right but out working of it is wrong" So a big c*ck up all round? "No we bill as per year so the yearly bill will take account of that". So all will come right? "Yes we cannot cope with the demand".
    I'm sure that will all be taken care of when customers see how bad things are. So are you offering compensation? "Yes I can offer you £10" Is that all? I have been working on these bills for two days now. "Sorry thats all I can offer" I did press for a bottle of Whisky but he would not budge, probably needed it for himself.
    Considering I have yet to get a correct bill in 6 months I am not confident that it will be right in the end. You can make up your own mind. I would say it does not inspire confidence, but if you change to Bulb check every calculation on your bill.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 5th Dec 17, 4:37 PM
    • 3,179 Posts
    • 1,896 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 4:37 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 4:37 PM
    Always check your bills against meter readings, Always check the calculations, Always get them corrected if they are wrong,

    Never ever accept an estimated bill and always download and save a copy of your bill/monthly statement so you can keep a track of what's going on.

    Finally and most important, save the copies for at least three years, ideally six so you've got evidence if they come back after a year or two trying it on - like BG seem to be doing at the moment
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • singhini
    • By singhini 6th Dec 17, 1:43 PM
    • 222 Posts
    • 139 Thanks
    singhini
    • #9
    • 6th Dec 17, 1:43 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Dec 17, 1:43 PM
    Spoke to Bulb help desk yesterday (yes they do answer fast, but that is little help when they are of no help). Explained that bills were wrong, and some of the straight forward bills like killowatt usage on the electric were out. I then got the waffle, "ah but those are rounded up figures." I explained that I had calculated to 4 decimal places the same as the actual unit billing charge. Then rounded up to 2 decimal places and I was still being overcharged by 4p. Nit picking, yes but I expect a a bill to be accurate. At that stage she put me on hold, probably to get in the queue for the calculator. When she came back there was further waffle about how they charge to four decimal places but the bill only showed 2 for the billing cost. Yes but taking that into account the bill is still wrong. After she went through it again I asked for a supervisor. Milles came on and we went through the same scenario, he then went off and took priority possession of the calculator. After much deliberation he admitted the figures were wrong. At last! Right now lets go through the gas bill that was corrected after I showed them the last mistakes. Pennies rounded up 6p overcharged on that bill. "Ah yes we have had trouble with the billing" Right what about the cubic feet to kilowatts conversion as shown on the base of the bill. You have overcharged 8kW on the conversion. "Ah yes we are working on that, that conversion chart is wrong" Not according to other power companies. "No thats right but out working of it is wrong" So a big c*ck up all round? "No we bill as per year so the yearly bill will take account of that". So all will come right? "Yes we cannot cope with the demand".
    I'm sure that will all be taken care of when customers see how bad things are. So are you offering compensation? "Yes I can offer you £10" Is that all? I have been working on these bills for two days now. "Sorry thats all I can offer" I did press for a bottle of Whisky but he would not budge, probably needed it for himself.
    Considering I have yet to get a correct bill in 6 months I am not confident that it will be right in the end. You can make up your own mind. I would say it does not inspire confidence, but if you change to Bulb check every calculation on your bill.
    Originally posted by philthunder


    Having read this post I thought I would take a look at my bill (I only have the one bill as I switched back on the 18th October).
    And yes the OP is right, there are small / minor errors on my bill too. OK they have only over charged me 7p but the maths is wrong.
    Electricity: 307 kwh x £0.01177p = £36.07p (no its not, its £36.13p so an undercharge of 6p)
    Gas: 85 units and this they have converted into 954 Kwh (no its not, its 948 kwh, which resulted in a 13p overcharge)


    I take my hat off to the OP for noticing
    • philthunder
    • By philthunder 7th Dec 17, 3:09 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    philthunder
    Interesting tariff price difference
    I am charged
    2.5008p for gas
    11.9729 for electricity
    23.39p each for standing charge
    £28.58 dual fuel discount
    I just checked the latest tariff price on Bulb and it is
    Electricity Unit Rate: 12.572p per kWh
    Gas Unit Rate: 2.626p per kWStanding Charge: 24.56p per day
    Dual Fuel discount: £30/year
    We offer our members one, single tariff for electricity and gas. It's one of the lowest on the market - renewable or not.

    We don't even charge exit fees.

    How do we do this? We use cutting-edge tech that keeps our costs low.


    Not quiet what customers are getting. Areas differ considerably, mistakes do not!
    • gsmlnx
    • By gsmlnx 7th Dec 17, 5:20 PM
    • 721 Posts
    • 587 Thanks
    gsmlnx
    @philthunder
    The first prices do not include VAT at 5%.
    When you add the VAT on then the prices are the same.
    • gsmlnx
    • By gsmlnx 7th Dec 17, 5:52 PM
    • 721 Posts
    • 587 Thanks
    gsmlnx
    Yes it is as all the prices are shown without VAT and then with VAT.
    £28.58 + 5% of £28.58 = £30

    The discount is to the total cost of the fuel and standing charges which are subject to VAT so any discount must also be subject to VAT.
    • philthunder
    • By philthunder 7th Dec 17, 7:26 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    philthunder
    Missed that, not on form today. But area prices do change, not quite the single tariff for electricity and gas, as advertised. Though I can understand the extra cost of moving gas to Lands End from Herbrandston or possibly Grain. Not quite the same for electricity.
    Last edited by philthunder; 07-12-2017 at 7:53 PM.
    • gsmlnx
    • By gsmlnx 7th Dec 17, 7:32 PM
    • 721 Posts
    • 587 Thanks
    gsmlnx
    @philthunder
    In the end, you get the same cash discount applied to your annual costs and £30 looks better than £28.58 so it is nicer to only see the +VAT details.
    • philthunder
    • By philthunder 7th Dec 17, 8:04 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    philthunder
    @philthunder
    In the end, you get the same cash discount applied to your annual costs and £30 looks better than £28.58 so it is nicer to only see the +VAT details.
    Originally posted by gsmlnx
    Ah the art of the salesman. Would be nice if that was stated.
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