Octopus billing - payment adequacy?

baser999
baser999 Posts: 1,081
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edited 4 November 2023 at 11:41AM in Energy
My mother moved into a care home and Octopus agreed to reduce the monthly direct debit at her flat to £10. Couple of weeks ago I got an email saying the DD would be put back up to £75, even though there is still a credit balance of around £100 on her account. I questioned this increase and Octopus have responded saying this is down to quarterly ‘payment adequacy’ which is out of their control and regulated by Ofgem. They’ll revert back to the agreed DD of £10 next month and suggest I keep an eye on the account over the forthcoming quarters. 
Is it correct that this is out of Octopus’ control? Or is it something they’ve decided to introduce?
Ironically my agreed DD was similarly increased this month from an agreed £175 to the previous amount of £197 so assume this is also down to the payment adequacy. I have adjusted mine back down to £175 as my account is also in credit.

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  • Netexporter
    Netexporter Posts: 1,043
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    I successfully reduced my Octopus DD to £10, to reduce my credit balance. It wasn't queried.
  • Slinky
    Slinky Posts: 9,802
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    baser999 said:
    My mother moved into a care home and Octopus agreed to reduce the monthly direct debit at her flat to £10. Couple of weeks ago I got an email saying the DD would be put back up to £75, even though there is still a credit balance of around £100 on her account. I questioned this increase and Octopus have responded saying this is down to quarterly ‘payment adequacy’ which is out of their control and regulated by Ofgem. They’ll revert back to the agreed DD of £10 next month and suggest I keep an eye on the account over the forthcoming quarters. 
    Is it correct that this is out of Octopus’ control? Or is it something they’ve decided to introduce?
    Ironically my agreed DD was similarly increased this month from an agreed £175 to the previous amount of £197 so assume this is also down to the payment adequacy. I have adjusted mine back down to £175 as my account is also in credit.


    Do you have access to her account online or via your phone? Have you tried just altering it back to £10?
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  • Alnat1
    Alnat1 Posts: 3,165
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    You could get your mum's DD changed to the variable type where Octopus will take the full amount to pay the monthly bill. This means there'll be no credit build up, the account will get zeroed after each DD payment is credited.
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  • baser999
    baser999 Posts: 1,081
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    edited 4 November 2023 at 5:07PM
    @Slinky, yes I can access her account on-line and did try amending the DD as soon as the email arrived but Octopus system wouldn’t accept it, advising I needed to contact them.
    @Alnat1, I could do that although Octopus have reverted the DD back to £10 so happy to leave it at that.

    My main thoughts were with Octopus stating this was an Ofgem directive, not them simply changing the DD 
  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 31,562
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    Likely a "computer says" scenario.
    Suppliers must make best efforts to ensure customers do not get into debt.  The national database has an EAC for the property and a £100 in credit with a £10 DD will not be "adequate" to cover that.  They cannot realistically look into each individual account where the automated system has increased the DD to conform with their licence obligations so informing the customer they are doing it and listening to that customer's concerns looks like a best solution.
    Agree that, especially with no to little use, variable DD is the way to go though.

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