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Utility point are won't refund credit. Am I in any right to cancel gas direct debit through my bank?

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Utility point are won't refund credit. Am I in any right to cancel gas direct debit through my bank?

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Stooby83Stooby83 Forumite
3 posts
First Post
MoneySaving Newbie
Nearly 2 months ago, I contacted my supplier, let's call them "Utility Cowboy", about a refund of credit. Seeing as I was 300 in credit and the winter months were coming to an end I thought I'd request some back. Only 200 so I did have some left in the gas bank. I'm not all that greedy. I called, got through after nearly 40 mins wait and I was told that it would take 28 WORKING days to receive. OK I thought, maybe cowboy has a harsher winter on the plains and needed some extra time for hearding the pennies, but I've been told that the ranch manager has approved it. Fast-forward to today and I've still to receive any money, and looking at certain review websites I am not alone.
So basically in a nutshell, can I cancel my direct debit through my bank, and work through that credit legally? I'm gonna leave them anyway once the credit is reduced.
I'd try and ask them but they never reply to calls or emails, guess maybe still out running the buffalo across the homestead?

Replies

  • LABMANLABMAN Forumite
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    Nearly two months ago was the middle of winter not the end of it.
  • Stooby83Stooby83 Forumite
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    LABMAN said:
    Nearly two months ago was the middle of winter not the end of it.
    Thanks for that update Mr Meteorologist. Still doesn't answer my question tho does it? 
  • edited 20 March at 10:24AM
    dogshomedogshome Forumite
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    edited 20 March at 10:24AM
    Problem with cancelling your D/Debit is that it breaks the present contract you are on, and the supplier can/will bounce you onto their "Standard Variable" tariff, which is the most expensive

    Don't be afraid to name and shame - It attracts posts highlighting problems other posters have had with the supplier, which is important as "Hanging onto the Money" has been a common symptom with those suppliers about to fall off the tree
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    Nearly 2 months ago, I contacted my supplier, let's call them "Utility Cowboy", about a refund of credit. Seeing as I was 300 in credit and the winter months were coming to an end 

    The biggest use months are typically January to March.   So you requested a refund of your summer credit far too early.

    So basically in a nutshell, can I cancel my direct debit through my bank, and work through that credit legally?

    Yes, you can cancel the direct debit.  However, they can charge you extra if you do, if their contract terms have a direct debit discount.  It may impact on your tariff too (eg. if yours is one that requires a direct debit).


    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • edited 20 March at 3:04PM
    Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
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    edited 20 March at 3:04PM
    If you are on a variable tariff or on a fixed tariff within 49 days of its end date you can switch without penalty.  Gas prices were going down significantly, although it remains to be seen whether this will still be the case.  However, the new rules about getting a refund haven't yet kicked in, so it could be even longer before you get a refund.
    I'd be inclined to start the ball rolling with the new supplier, do the sums very carefully, see where you are now and where you expect to be on the completion date. Cancel the DD now and send them any payment needed to bring the balance to zero on that date.  Keep reading the meter and send any further payments that may be necessary to keep the account always in credit so that they have no reason to collect any further direct debits.
    Read the Ts & Cs very carefully, but I doubt that they'd get away with any DD cancellation charges if you tell them that the account will always stay in credit and you adhere to this.
  • 7Phil7Phil Forumite
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    If you haven't gotten to the end of your 28 "working" day timeframe yet then expect a copy paste letter patronising you about protecting vulnerable people and that's why your refund request is refused.
    Don't cancel your DD - they will slap £5 on as a missed payment fee per month and whack you on their eye-wateringly expensive standard tariff for breaking your contract terms.
    Call them up and politely ask for a reduced DD and stay on it until you burn your credit back down then leave them.

    Additional tip: I found if I called them from my mobile (which was registered on my account) I had to wait 20-40 minutes but if I called from my work landline I was speaking to them in around 5 minutes. May have been a coincidence though.
  • carpycarpy Forumite
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    i got a refund today, requested on 9th April
    was like getting blood out of a stone! had to be very persistent and didn't accept no for an answer!
  • Stooby83Stooby83 Forumite
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    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    carpy said:
    i got a refund today, requested on 9th April
    was like getting blood out of a stone! had to be very persistent and didn't accept no for an answer!

    I gave up and requested a transfer. 3 phonecalls later and still no refund. 1st call was on 6th Feb. Told them last time when they said if it wasn't in within 21 days passed, I'm moving. Got a new supplier this week after 28days with still nothing refunded.

    And it's cheaper that UP. So wonder how long it will be before I get any credit back from a final bill. 
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