MSE News: Energy direct debit hiked? Challenge it

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
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Former_MSE_PalomaFormer_MSE_Paloma
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
Some energy customers who switched last winter have voiced frustrations about new suppliers upping direct debits...
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Energy direct debit hiked? Challenge it

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  • edited 12 October 2015 at 10:14AM
    footyguyfootyguy Forumite
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    edited 12 October 2015 at 10:14AM
    Isn't this more or less the same as the existing MSE article (and associated discussion thread) on this topic?
    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/lower-energy-direct-debits

    Whilst that MSE article was originally authored back in 2008, it does say it was updated as recently as last month.
  • KTFKTF Forumite
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    If customers are too lazy to send in a meter reading once a month then of course the supplier is going to guess. What else are they meant to do?

    The sooner smart meters are installed the better.
  • edited 12 October 2015 at 12:02PM
    jamesdjamesd Forumite
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    edited 12 October 2015 at 12:02PM
    KTF wrote: »
    If customers are too lazy to send in a meter reading once a month then of course the supplier is going to guess. What else are they meant to do?
    A supplier isn't supposed to just guess. There's past usage history available on which to base an estimate and midata is readily available from at least some suppliers to report actual usage over the last year that can be provided to a new supplier.

    Consumers are not uniformly able to get to meters, read them and provide readings. It's not normally practical for a person who's blind to read a meter even if they can get to it and many others may have difficulty getting at a meter or getting to a position where they are able to read it.
    KTF wrote: »
    The sooner smart meters are installed the better.
    Smart meters are not smart and they use insecure communications methods that can compromise your information, as well as allowing meter readings to be taken so often that it's possible to work out when you turn individual appliances on and off. All they do is allow remote meter reading, not smart things like turning appliances on and off based on electricity demand locally and nationally, the sort of thing that really smart meters can do.

    What's happening at the moment with the current generation of "smart" meters is a waste of money on a technology that's already out of date and will need to be replaced soon by meters that really are smart. The slowest possible rollout, ideally stopping it completely, is the best way to go.
  • lisa110rrylisa110rry Forumite
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    I've contacted my supplier (not always the same one) several times over the years to challenge my direct debit, based on my spreadsheet calculations of energy used. Most recently (in the past twelve months) I've contacted Extra Energy twice to challenge an increase to £160 and latterly, when my annual estimate was calculated, I challenged the increase to £165 on the basis of breach because by raising my Direct Debit for an assumed supply on dates after the end of my current contract, they were charging me for something they were out of contract on. It worked, and I may say my calculations show that if the supplier had not raised my direct debit on those two occasions my payments would be within £5 of the supply charge instead of them owing me about £50 at the end of the contract (they would not refund the over payment).

    It is now 31 days since I moved my contract to another supplier and after another eleven days I shall be writing to the old supplier demanding a proper bill and repayment of the over payment. Six weeks should be long enough.
    “And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceeding well.”
    ― Julian of Norwich
    In other words, Don't Panic!
  • ConsumeristConsumerist Forumite
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    This article is pretty pathetic.

    Threaten to ditch and switch - is MSE Towers living in the real world?

    How do you threaten to ditch and switch when you're in the middle of a fixed contract with associated exit charges. The energy supplier won't know or even care why you have switched - it will just send out the boilerplate "please don't leave us" email without even being concerned whether you switch or not because it can hang on to your credit balance until you threaten court action.
    >:)Warning: In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
  • jamesd wrote: »
    Consumers are not uniformly able to get to meters, read them and provide readings. It's not normally practical for a person who's blind to read a meter even if they can get to it and many others may have difficulty getting at a meter or getting to a position where they are able to read it
    Most consumers don't even know that their energy supplier is not responsible for taking regular (quarterly?) meter readings. And people with special needs can get special treatment if they ask for it.

    I thought this bit of the MSE article was interesting - "over summer it's normal to build up a credit as you use less energy, and you'll likely need this surplus for winter anyway. So over the course of the year you're still gaining, no matter when you switch"

    MSE - whose side are you really on?
    mad mocs - the pavement worrier
  • I thought this bit of the MSE article was interesting - "over summer it's normal to build up a credit as you use less energy, and you'll likely need this surplus for winter anyway. So over the course of the year you're still gaining, no matter when you switch"

    MSE - whose side are you really on?
    What are you talking about?

    Modsandmockers - what are you on?
  • keirankeiran Forumite
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    In my experience, the advice of referring the issue to the Energy Ombudsman is a complete waste of time and energy - this body is in the hands of the energy companies and will simply agree with the energy companies' estimations
  • alibean121alibean121 Forumite
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    jamesd wrote: »
    A supplier isn't supposed to just guess. There's past usage history available on which to base an estimate and midata is readily available from at least some suppliers to report actual usage over the last year that can be provided to a new supplier.

    Consumers are not uniformly able to get to meters, read them and provide readings. It's not normally practical for a person who's blind to read a meter even if they can get to it and many others may have difficulty getting at a meter or getting to a position where they are able to read it.

    Smart meters are not smart and they use insecure communications methods that can compromise your information, as well as allowing meter readings to be taken so often that it's possible to work out when you turn individual appliances on and off. All they do is allow remote meter reading, not smart things like turning appliances on and off based on electricity demand locally and nationally, the sort of thing that really smart meters can do.

    What's happening at the moment with the current generation of "smart" meters is a waste of money on a technology that's already out of date and will need to be replaced soon by meters that really are smart. The slowest possible rollout, ideally stopping it completely, is the best way to go.

    This is a strange post. Most of the issues you talk about at the top would actually be solved by a smarter meter that reads itself.

    My meters are accessible from by any randomer from the street so I'm not sure what kind of information would be compromised.

    The idea that I could drunkenly turn my oven on while on a night out though is a personal nightmare though so I don't share your vision of what's desirable from a meter I guess...

    I do agree that they should be switchable before they're rolled out though, otherwise its ridiculously wasteful.
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