Have energy companies stopped offering variable direct debit?

Been with British Gas “Variable direct debit” for years, like clockwork I’ve been getting a reminder to supply my meter readings around the 14th, have a bill generated around the 20th, and taken out of my account in full by direct debit on the 4th. 

Recently when British gas switched systems all the dates got muddled up and it was a mess. They refused to change the date of my Variable direct debit, said it’s not possible, despite the fact that’s what I’ve done for years. So I switched to Octopus

Now they’re saying the same thing? Is this something new? Can people no longer supply meter readings and have it paid in full automatically on their CHOSEN DATE? :/

Octopus said “With Variable we unfortunately can't create a set date each month. However, when you submit your readings, you can pay straight away, and then have 14 days to pay for that usage. So if you have set dates that you submit your meter readings, you can have a schedule for when you pay as long as it's within 14 days of submitting these readings.”

«1

Comments

  • t0rt0ise
    t0rt0ise Posts: 4,215
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Forumite
    edited 8 February at 1:36PM
    The DD is taken roughly 14 days after the bill date. So my last bill was dated 11th January and money taken on the 26th. So I imagine you need to work backwards and ask for the bill date to be changed rather than the DD date, if that makes sense. My bills are always dated the 11th and money always taken on 26th unless it's a weekend, then it's taken on the Monday.
  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,268
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite

    Been with British Gas “Variable direct debit” for years, like clockwork I’ve been getting a reminder to supply my meter readings around the 14th, have a bill generated around the 20th, and taken out of my account in full by direct debit on the 4th. 

    Recently when British gas switched systems all the dates got muddled up and it was a mess. They refused to change the date of my Variable direct debit, said it’s not possible, despite the fact that’s what I’ve done for years. So I switched to Octopus

    Now they’re saying the same thing? Is this something new? Can people no longer supply meter readings and have it paid in full automatically on their CHOSEN DATE? :/

    Octopus said “With Variable we unfortunately can't create a set date each month. However, when you submit your readings, you can pay straight away, and then have 14 days to pay for that usage. So if you have set dates that you submit your meter readings, you can have a schedule for when you pay as long as it's within 14 days of submitting these readings.”

    British Gas seem to no longer be able to offer variable Direct Debit since their switch to the new billing system, though from what I have seen on here some people have managed to get them to continue offering it and they may reintroduce it for new users in the future, but it appears only for those on smart meters. 

    Octopus offer monthly variable Direct Debit, but only for those on Smart Meters, though slightly different in that the customer cannot move the billing date, but can move the payment date, so they generate my bill on 22nd of each month and then take the total via Direct Debit on the 5th of the following month. My understanding is that EDF also offer the same, but again, only for those on smart meters. 
  • bristolleedsfan
    bristolleedsfan Posts: 12,011
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic
    Forumite
    edited 8 February at 1:42PM

    Been with British Gas “Variable direct debit” for years, like clockwork I’ve been getting a reminder to supply my meter readings around the 14th, have a bill generated around the 20th, and taken out of my account in full by direct debit on the 4th. 

    Recently when British gas switched systems all the dates got muddled up and it was a mess. They refused to change the date of my Variable direct debit, said it’s not possible, despite the fact that’s what I’ve done for years. So I switched to Octopus

    Now they’re saying the same thing? Is this something new? Can people no longer supply meter readings and have it paid in full automatically on their CHOSEN DATE? :/

    Octopus said “With Variable we unfortunately can't create a set date each month. However, when you submit your readings, you can pay straight away, and then have 14 days to pay for that usage. So if you have set dates that you submit your meter readings, you can have a schedule for when you pay as long as it's within 14 days of submitting these readings.”


    Octopus offer monthly variable Direct Debit, but only for those on Smart Meters, though slightly different in that the customer cannot move the billing date, but can move the payment date, so they generate my bill on 22nd of each month and then take the total via Direct Debit on the 5th of the following month. My understanding is that EDF also offer the same, but again, only for those on smart meters. 
    Where do you get the info from that only those with Smart Meters can have a monthly variable DD with Octopus.?


  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,268
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite

    Been with British Gas “Variable direct debit” for years, like clockwork I’ve been getting a reminder to supply my meter readings around the 14th, have a bill generated around the 20th, and taken out of my account in full by direct debit on the 4th. 

    Recently when British gas switched systems all the dates got muddled up and it was a mess. They refused to change the date of my Variable direct debit, said it’s not possible, despite the fact that’s what I’ve done for years. So I switched to Octopus

    Now they’re saying the same thing? Is this something new? Can people no longer supply meter readings and have it paid in full automatically on their CHOSEN DATE? :/

    Octopus said “With Variable we unfortunately can't create a set date each month. However, when you submit your readings, you can pay straight away, and then have 14 days to pay for that usage. So if you have set dates that you submit your meter readings, you can have a schedule for when you pay as long as it's within 14 days of submitting these readings.”


    Octopus offer monthly variable Direct Debit, but only for those on Smart Meters, though slightly different in that the customer cannot move the billing date, but can move the payment date, so they generate my bill on 22nd of each month and then take the total via Direct Debit on the 5th of the following month. My understanding is that EDF also offer the same, but again, only for those on smart meters. 
    Where do you get the info from that only those with Smart Meters can have a monthly variable DD with Octopus.?
    There were a few people on here who have said that they were unable to switch to variable Direct Debit without having a smart meter, so only anecdotal. I pay by variable Direct Debit, but am on a smart meter so I cannot verify the other way around. 
  • t0rt0ise
    t0rt0ise Posts: 4,215
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Forumite

    Been with British Gas “Variable direct debit” for years, like clockwork I’ve been getting a reminder to supply my meter readings around the 14th, have a bill generated around the 20th, and taken out of my account in full by direct debit on the 4th. 

    Recently when British gas switched systems all the dates got muddled up and it was a mess. They refused to change the date of my Variable direct debit, said it’s not possible, despite the fact that’s what I’ve done for years. So I switched to Octopus

    Now they’re saying the same thing? Is this something new? Can people no longer supply meter readings and have it paid in full automatically on their CHOSEN DATE? :/

    Octopus said “With Variable we unfortunately can't create a set date each month. However, when you submit your readings, you can pay straight away, and then have 14 days to pay for that usage. So if you have set dates that you submit your meter readings, you can have a schedule for when you pay as long as it's within 14 days of submitting these readings.”


    Octopus offer monthly variable Direct Debit, but only for those on Smart Meters, though slightly different in that the customer cannot move the billing date, but can move the payment date, so they generate my bill on 22nd of each month and then take the total via Direct Debit on the 5th of the following month. My understanding is that EDF also offer the same, but again, only for those on smart meters. 
    Where do you get the info from that only those with Smart Meters can have a monthly variable DD with Octopus.?


    I wondered that. I had variable DD before I got a smart meter. But of course things may have changed that I haven't heard about.
  • bristolleedsfan
    bristolleedsfan Posts: 12,011
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic
    Forumite

    Been with British Gas “Variable direct debit” for years, like clockwork I’ve been getting a reminder to supply my meter readings around the 14th, have a bill generated around the 20th, and taken out of my account in full by direct debit on the 4th. 

    Recently when British gas switched systems all the dates got muddled up and it was a mess. They refused to change the date of my Variable direct debit, said it’s not possible, despite the fact that’s what I’ve done for years. So I switched to Octopus

    Now they’re saying the same thing? Is this something new? Can people no longer supply meter readings and have it paid in full automatically on their CHOSEN DATE? :/

    Octopus said “With Variable we unfortunately can't create a set date each month. However, when you submit your readings, you can pay straight away, and then have 14 days to pay for that usage. So if you have set dates that you submit your meter readings, you can have a schedule for when you pay as long as it's within 14 days of submitting these readings.”


    Octopus offer monthly variable Direct Debit, but only for those on Smart Meters, though slightly different in that the customer cannot move the billing date, but can move the payment date, so they generate my bill on 22nd of each month and then take the total via Direct Debit on the 5th of the following month. My understanding is that EDF also offer the same, but again, only for those on smart meters. 
    Where do you get the info from that only those with Smart Meters can have a monthly variable DD with Octopus.?
    There were a few people on here who have said that they were unable to switch to variable Direct Debit without having a smart meter, so only anecdotal. I pay by variable Direct Debit, but am on a smart meter so I cannot verify the other way around. 
    I have not seen anyone say that could not have a variable DD without a smart meter, quick search on X most recent post May 23 Octopus customer gives meter readings on a V DD, when I was with Eon Next (Kraken) no smart meter had a variable DD 
  • jak22
    jak22 Posts: 344
    First Anniversary First Post
    Forumite
    On Octopus where's the option to choose variable - whole amount - direct debit?
  • bristolleedsfan
    bristolleedsfan Posts: 12,011
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic
    Forumite
    edited 8 February at 2:06PM
    jak22 said:
    On Octopus where's the option to choose variable - whole amount - direct debit?
    Have to contact them to ask for V DD.- whole amount - direct debit
  • pseudodox
    pseudodox Posts: 262
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 8 February at 3:26PM
    I have VDD with EDF and am not yet on a Smart Meter.  My account started in October 2022, in August 2023 I was moved to the Kraken system and apart from a couple of small hiccups which were quickly sorted I have had no billing issues.  I give a reading on 25th (I usually pre-empt the email reminder which they send later that day), get an accurate bill on 26th or 27th and DD is taken 10 working days later.

    I was previously with SSE but when they "sold" me to OVO I was informed I could no longer pay by VDD.  So told them to take a hike as EDF said it was not a problem and I could switch to them.
  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 31,565
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Post First Anniversary
    Forumite
    edited 8 February at 3:40PM
    pseudodox said:
    I have VDD with EDF and am not yet on a Smart Meter.  My account started in October 2022, in August 2023 I was moved to the Kraken system and apart from a couple of small hiccups which were quickly sorted I have had no billing issues.  I give a reading on 25th (I usually pre-empt the email reminder which they send later that day), get an accurate bill on 26th or 27th and DD is taken 10 working days later.
    Same here with Eon Next, submit readings, bill generated and DD taken 10 working days after bill.

Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.8K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.2K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.9K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 606.1K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.5K Life & Family
  • 246.8K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards