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£17 monthly increase in my gas DD

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
16 replies 897 views
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  • melburymelbury Forumite
    13.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    Reading about all of these problems, is it really worth switching at all? I never have but keep thinking about it.
    Stopped smoking 27/12/2007, but could start again at any time :eek:

  • LouiseppLouisepp Forumite
    301 posts
    melbury wrote:
    BG recently tried to put my DD up from £49.50 pm to £79.50 pm - I was so angry I phoned and said that if they didn't bring it back to a reasonable level there and then I was switching without delay. The guy was very helpful and apologetic and basically added up my last four gas bills and divided by 12 and asked if I was happy to pay that amount each month, which I was - worked out to be about £57 pm. He says the computer works out what the new payments should be, so I told him to sack the computer!

    But what if the computer is right? I'm thinking that if the comp is telling me my DD should be £165 and not £53, and we agree to pay say...£70 pm, I might be getting £100in arrears each month.

    If I have been underpaying, then surely I'm going to have to pay for it someday? Asking them to reduce it is just going to delay that last bill.

    The thought of having to find an extra 112 per month is kinda scary, but I'd rather that than a £2,000 bill sent in 18 months time (which is pretty much what the child tax credit people did last week :eek: )

    So 'at the end of the day', will you have to pay for everything you use, or will they write some of it off?
    Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    melbury wrote:
    BG recently tried to put my DD up from £49.50 pm to £79.50 pm - I was so angry I phoned and said that if they didn't bring it back to a reasonable level there and then I was switching without delay. The guy was very helpful and apologetic and basically added up my last four gas bills and divided by 12 and asked if I was happy to pay that amount each month, which I was - worked out to be about £57 pm. He says the computer works out what the new payments should be, so I told him to sack the computer!

    From your post it would appear that your bill last year was £684(12 x £57). However you paid £594 (12 x £49.50).

    So it appears that you are £90 in debit.

    This year BG has raised its prices by approx 20%. So if your bills totalled £684 last year they will be approx £820 this year.

    However after your phone call you are only going to pay £684. So you will be a further £136 in debt, making a total of £226.

    If you calculate what your next year bill will be and add the amount you are in debt the monthly Direct Debit initially worked out by the computer was about correct.

    Perhaps it should be the 'helpful and apologetic guy' that needs the sack and not the computer. ;) He hasn't helped you(apart from a small saving in interest) and just ensured that you will get deeper in debt.

    You will not be able to switch utility companies until you clear your debt, so he is tying you into BG.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
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    Louisepp wrote:
    But what if the computer is right? I'm thinking that if the comp is telling me my DD should be £165 and not £53, and we agree to pay say...£70 pm, I might be getting £100in arrears each month.

    If I have been underpaying, then surely I'm going to have to pay for it someday? Asking them to reduce it is just going to delay that last bill.

    The thought of having to find an extra 112 per month is kinda scary, but I'd rather that than a £2,000 bill sent in 18 months time (which is pretty much what the child tax credit people did last week :eek: )

    So 'at the end of the day', will you have to pay for everything you use, or will they write some of it off?

    Louise,
    You are quite correct. Despite the protestations of some people on this forum the 'computer' for all the utility companies is usually correct.

    All it does is take last years consumption as a guide. It then predicts your annual bill, based on that consumption, for this year(after the inevitable price rise!) adds any accumulated debit balance and works out the monthly DD using that total.

    There is no doubt that nearly all of the utility companies are at fault in fixing direct debits at an unrealistically low figure in order to obtain customers. Using this as a reason, there have been cases of customers 'negotiating' a write off of some of the accumulated debt; often on the grounds of financial hardship.
  • melburymelbury Forumite
    13.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    Unfortunatley I think you are correct!

    Having phoned in my gas meter reading today, I am awaiting the dreaded gas bill for the quarter Dec-March and have just done some rough calculations - think it will be around the £400 mark and so there is no way that my current DD will clear that until well after the next bill is due. Suppose the bet way forward is to just write them a cheque for the amount I will be in debit and at least start this new quarter with a clean slate.

    These utility bills are really stressful aren't they.
    Stopped smoking 27/12/2007, but could start again at any time :eek:

  • grabbitgrabbit Forumite
    63 posts
    Cardew wrote:
    Louise,
    You are quite correct. Despite the protestations of some people on this forum the 'computer' for all the utility companies is usually correct.

    All it does is take last years consumption as a guide. It then predicts your annual bill, based on that consumption, for this year(after the inevitable price rise!) adds any accumulated debit balance and works out the monthly DD using that total.

    There is no doubt that nearly all of the utility companies are at fault in fixing direct debits at an unrealistically low figure in order to obtain customers. Using this as a reason, there have been cases of customers 'negotiating' a write off of some of the accumulated debt; often on the grounds of financial hardship.

    Louise
    Just out of interest when you originally switched to scottish power did you use their own onlnie savings calculator ? I did and found that the savings they predicted did not materialise. I disputed the bills 6 months ago as the difference between what I was paying and what they were charging was getting wider. They said I must be using more gas and elec (I'm not). I said that their calculator was wrong (they said proove it). I said what figured were they using in their calculator and they went quite. All they then said was that it was right and it was tough luck. However they did offer to write off 20% of the bill allegedly because of their poor response to my complaint. However I still maintain they are wrong becuase I gave them accurate figures when I joined. So we are now in a stalemate position but I still have my money in the bank.

    Personally I think their online tool was wrong, but don't have the evidence to challenge it because they wont give it to me.

    So if you are in the same situation, it may be that they are deliberately and knowingly over selling the savings just to get business.

    Anyone else had a similar experience with scottish power ?
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