Energy Direct Debits: Get money back & your payments lowered Discussion

Former_MSE_Archna Former MSE Posts: 1,903 Forumite
edited 10 June 2010 at 5:36PM in Energy

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Energy Direct Debits: Get money back & your payments lowered

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  • toys19
    toys19 Forumite Posts: 32 Forumite
    I pay by quarterly diorect debit they only take what they owe. If the company demands too much money, cancel the monthly dd and pay by quarterly DD instead.
  • 1carminestocky
    1carminestocky Forumite Posts: 5,256
    Cashback Cashier
    The BEST way to get your DDs exactly as you want them is to switch regularly (with the added bonus of all the cashback you get to trouser as well). I try to switch 4 times per year and basically tell them what level of DD I will pay (I always try and pay enough in DDs to cover my expected usage over the next 3 months so as not to have to pay a debit amount when my switch is completed). Works fine and I have been known to trouser up to £300 per year in cashback. It's a win-win situation for's a bit like paying by standing order but the difference is I still get the DD discount.
    Call me Carmine....

  • cheytz
    cheytz Forumite Posts: 19 Forumite
    The Guardian have been doing this story for the past few weeks in the money section on Saturdays. According to them you have the right to set the level of DD. Martin is saying you don't. Who is right? When my supplier tried to raise mine I emailed them pleading poverty, you could hear my sobs of worry, and told them I was close to losing my job, for good measure. They reversed the raise.
  • fatpiggy
    fatpiggy Forumite Posts: 388 Forumite
    Until recently I was with EDF. On one occasion they did write and say they wanted to raise my DD (despite the fact I was in credit) so I phoned them and a very helpful girl listened to my arguements and agree that it was unnecessary. Later I found I was £300+ in credit, so again rang and asked for it to be credited back to me which happened with no further fuss within 10 days. Recently they noticed the surplus had grown back to the same level again and automatically refunded me, just wrote and told me that they were doing this and also lowered my DD level. When I changed to Scottish Power in the autumn, in order to cap my costs, I set my DD at the same rate. I just did a meter reading and the resulting bill was £6 more than receipts so SP wrote and said they were raising my DD by just £5 a month which I think is completely fair. I already knew that as I was paying a higher tariff, it was likely I would have to pay a bit more each month. Perhaps I've been really lucky, but credit where credit is due to both EDF and SP from me.
  • 1645j
    1645j Forumite Posts: 26 Forumite
    I have been trying to switch a friends electricity, they use electricity for everything and because they have Economy 10 or an RHT meter there are only two companies that can supply.

    The reason for switching was down to a bill for over £300, when I looked at the bills they had received all the bills were estimated, my first step was to get the reading up to date which I did and that brought the bill down to £81 that was owed :j they presently spend £75 per month DD this was set to pay off the £300 that was owed. Then a couple of weeks later they had a letter telling them that their DD was going up to £145.00 per month!! I telephoned E-ON and they informed me they worked it out on the basis that by April 2009 the balance should be Zero I then gave them a current reading and that brought it down £100 pound per month, by this time one DD had been taken of £75 so the amount owed was now £6 but they said that the new DD would now be £100 per month. I told them that my friend were going to change energy suppler and at present moving to Southern Electric.

    I was confused with the way E-ON worked out the bills and they way they worked out the DD and as my friends are 70+ years they too were confused.
  • WelshGandalf
    WelshGandalf Forumite Posts: 76 Forumite
    I am just switching from EON now due to this issue. I'd already asked them once to not increase it by as much as they were proposing, which they did, but they have recently put it up from £55 to £83 a month, so I'm not bothering with asking them to put it down again, else I will have to go through this every time they change it. I admit it needs to go up due to winter & tariff increases, but I'm in credit and I worked out about £75 would cover my usage based on last year (I'm expecting to use less this year)

    Also their gas units had gone up a lot and another supplier was now about £100 a year cheaper, plus I'd get cashback too so these reasons influenced my decision also :)

    Thanks for the guide though, I had done most of the steps myself but I couldn't be bothered with 4 and 5, just switch supplier & hope the new one is better!
  • 1carminestocky
    1carminestocky Forumite Posts: 5,256
    Cashback Cashier
    Anyone switching, don't forget to check out the cashback sites first - there's up to £62 available for a dual fuel switch and, lets' face it, the energy company's online tariffs in particular are so similar in price as to be hardly worth worrying about.
    Call me Carmine....

  • Baileyleeds
    Baileyleeds Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
    I used to work for British Gas, and have a few hints

    First of all, alweays have the figures for your last years consumption to hand, 12 months worth of bills, and ensure you are working to an actual, and not an estimated meter reading.

    To last years bills total amount, add any debit amount still outstanding, or deduct an credit owed. Remember to factor in an increase for price increases, and divide by twelve.

    This is roughly your monthly payment, if they disagree and tell you that it calculated based on consumption, just remind them that your bills are also calculated based on comsumption and so the figures correlate.

    If they still refuse to budge, speak to their superior, if they fob you off, just get the name of the managing director and email them asking them why their practices defy logic - for BG customers this is Phil Bentley and he has committed on TV to answering any billing enquiries that remain unresolved.

    Given that i know how the system works, i still had a huge amount of trouble trying to get my payment reduced, i was literally at my wits end with what they were syaing to me, and eventually they agreed to a figure within 10% of my calculation.

    if you need any help, email me me on [EMAIL=""][email protected][/EMAIL], and i will try to help you out. Please be aware though, that i work full time, and my help is based on goodwill, i can't see any of your bill enquiries through personally.

    Remember - they want your money as regular monthly cashflow, and you want the DD discount, this is in everyones interest, but it is not in tehor interests to have to administer refunds each and every year.

    In answer to Cheytz - the company is under no obligation to provide payment terms to you, this essentially a convenience tool, which they offer under their terms alone, unfortunately this means they set the level, but they will listen to reason, you just have to cajole them a bit first

    Good luck
  • volare
    volare Forumite Posts: 8 Forumite
    Still fighting on this one..... pardon the long story....

    1. Switched to Scottish Power to get capped rate combined energy. This happened in late Oct/early Nov.
    (1.5. SP rep called asking for a meter reading. I explained I didn't have an access key for the meter cupboard, and could she send one? She just acted totally confused, and rang off. So - on estimated reading.)
    2. Email on 19 Nov from them stating that "based on usage" they were putting my monthly DD up from £69 to £329. That is not a typo. Three hundred and twenty nine of your British pounds, PER MONTH. Starting December.

    Once I'd stopped hyperventilating I got on the phone straight away. "I think there's been some kind of mistake... I've only been with you about a month." Very nice rep asked for a reading. I went through the explanation again. "Oh no problem I'll pop you one in the post and call back on Saturday for the numbers, ok?"

    Key came, did reading, she called, gave numbers. She said she'd speak to her supervisor and get back to me in a day or two. This was just over a week ago.


    Tried calling them today - lines overloaded, Phone Bot told me to ring back. Have emailed their customer service, we'll see what happens.

    Given that there can be no average usage when I've been with them ONE month, and given that my usage has in fact DECREASED since I now live alone (since October 1st), and given that I only switched in order to keep prices DOWN - I'm fairly annoyed by all this.......!

    Any advice or suggestions would be welcome!
  • debsthe1
    debsthe1 Forumite Posts: 90 Forumite
    I just received a statement today and on looking into it further we went from £298cr in sept to £376cr! Our DD went from £108pm in july to £153pm from dec!!

    I have now had this reduced to £100pm from Jan and I will call them on a monthly basis with readings to keep tabs on it..

    We are with Utilita and of course they have no immediate plans to reduce prices etc.
    :)SW Convert - started 20/09/09 -3 Stone to lose!! :eek:
    So far lost 11 1/2lbs :j
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