Direct debits and power companies

  exdragon 13:34 01 Dec 2008

Anyone else had their direct debit increased and tried to get it reduced?

Eon have just increased my dd of £50 to £67 wef January. There's just me in the flat and for 3 quarterly bills of the year, I'm in credit from anything between £370 to £53-odd. I obviously realise prices have shot up, but why can't I be 'in debit' to them, which would be then be offset by the Summer credit?

The person I spoke to said she couldn't reduce the £67 as 'the system would take it anyway'.

  oldbeefer2 14:00 01 Dec 2008

There was a lot of fuss about this on TV a couple of weeks ago. The energy companies do seem to be taking us for a ride and getting the interest from the excessive DDs. The gouvernmant said they would 'look into it'. I'll believe it when I see it.

  Spark6 14:43 01 Dec 2008

Eon have notified you that they *intend* to increase your DD. Why don't you instruct your bank to keep it at its present amount and see what happens? As I see it, the worse that can happen is that you will have to find another supplier.

Are you in credit at the moment?

  exdragon 15:00 01 Dec 2008

I'm in credit (£86) at the moment. Eon obviously intend takeing the £67 as even if they try to redce it, 'the system' will still take it. I don't want to get my bank to reduce it, as I could foresee problems!

They are the cheapest for me, and on two occasions over the years, a couple of other companies have tried to 'take over' - the first I've known about it is when Eon (or Powergen as they then were) wrote to say how sorry they were that I was going. I have correspondence a couple of inches thick, trying to sort out the mess and got sick and tired of banging my head against a brick wall.

I've been happy with them for a while, the customer service people seem efficient, but all I wanted this time was to know why they couldn't be 'in debt' to me for a quaeter or so, when they've had so much of my credit for so long

  VNAM75 16:52 01 Dec 2008

Why don't you instruct your bank to keep it at its present amount and see what happens - good idea, its your bank account and you control it.

I switched from eon to scottish power and their electricity rates are quite a bit chreaper, gas only slightly. They raised my dd and I was in credit by £100 so I asked for a cheque refund, which they sent. With scottish power, they only alter the dd if you give them an updated meter reading. I've reduced mine to £40 pm due to this (from £87!)

  lofty29 17:02 01 Dec 2008

It has been raised on watchdog, and the general opinion seems to be, not by the energy companies of course, that they are increasing their cashflow by this means, one of the people on there said that you could still get the discount by setting up a standing order instead of a DD, which of course you have control of instead of them.

  g0nvs 21:05 01 Dec 2008

If you are in credit then insist on a refund. My supplier (EON) refunded £200 last August after I supplied up to date meter readings.

  spuds 11:43 02 Dec 2008

On ITV1 last night was a programme covering this very subject of utility company's increasing ways of upsetting their customers, mainly by poor billing methods. In the main it was 'estimated' increased bills that were being calculated by the company's, that was bringing most complaints.

Switching suppliers for a supposed better deal, and being given false comparison information was another main complaints issue.

By as usual, the watchdogs are looking into all these complaints!!.

One thing that was mentioned, was that there might be a reduction in prices in the new year, due to savings by the utility company's.

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