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warning to anyone whose fuel bills are estimated!

(8 Posts)
woodstock3 Fri 22-Aug-08 16:07:38

we just got a bill for a quarter's gas saying we were £700 in debit shock when we have always been in credit (we pay monthly direct debits) shock.
i was horrified and thought they'd obviously made a mistake especially as it was for summer, ie no central heating.
but our gas company (atlantic gas) says it's actually a catchup bill.
our last three quarters have been estimated and clearly heavily underestimated at that, our dd was set before all the prices started going up, and when they did their once yearly reading this month that's the difference that had built up. atlantic only do a proper reading (ie not estimated) once a year and she said an awful lot of people who like me were just vaguely glancing at their quarterly bills, seeing they were in credit, and carrying on happily without noticing it was all based on estimates are now getting nasty shocks.
sooo...if your last bill was estimated, i'd do a meter reading sharpish. better that than a v nasty shock at the end of the year. worrying tho - we can just about afford this but if that bill landed on my elderly inlaws doorstep they'd have a heart attack.

SpinMeRightRound Fri 22-Aug-08 16:11:44

the opposite happened to us recently. NPower had estimated our gas and put our direct debit up to £92 a month as according to them we were nearly £400 in debit!

In reality we are nearly £400 in credit instead. It has taken us 4 months to get them to correct our account and reduce the direct debits back down to normal. It was a complete farce.

from now on we'll regularly be sending in meter reading & basically checking every statement they send very carefully!

eandh Fri 22-Aug-08 16:13:11

I have mine set up that they email me few eeks before bills due and then I log onto my account and provide accurate readings within 7 days and tehrefore every bill I get is a 'reading' rather than estimate

LIZS Fri 22-Aug-08 16:32:10

Just rung Southern Electric as last year we had a read bill in August and not had anything from them since May. Turns out they are only providing actual bills at 6 monthly intervals now to those using DD. When I queried how this would work for the price increases I was told they'd prorata the usage hmm Just gave them our readings so at least we can ensure the accuracy of what is charged at what rate.

mum2oneloudbaby Sat 23-Aug-08 10:41:57

we had a similar situation although luckily not such a big discrepancy.

now give readings every quarter to gas, elec and water and regularly adjust the dd to keep up rather than wait for the annual review.

esp as if you owe over £150 at the 6 monthly review edf just take the outstanding balance without much warning, no good if you don't have it in your account shock.

Grumpalina Sat 23-Aug-08 10:57:27

Same thing happened to me. Moved from a two bed terrace to a three bed semi. Whe i informed the utilities they asked me what I thought I should be paying (didn't have a clue- thought they would be able to guide me). Anyway suddenly and without warning (it was in the samll print when I checked but it was still a shock to me!!!)the direct debit went up to £160 a month (from about £50) to pay the difference. Thankfully it was then sorted and I amnow back to a reasonable £70 per month.

kerryk Sat 23-Aug-08 13:07:57

i had something very similar happen to me, only they wanted more than £1000 from me. they stopped my monthly dd of £150 and told me they would not restart it till i had cleared the large ammount.

i could not afford it in one go so after court threats i have neded up with pre payment meters. i actually really like them i have to say, i think i will even keep them once the debt is cleared.

shinyshoes Sat 23-Aug-08 13:21:57

We have just had a huge rebate from the gas and electric as we were paying too much, its been accumalting over a period of a few years but now they've took it upon themselves to HALVE the DD payments, I know this will probably end up with US owing THEM money so i've just phoned today to say we will leave the DD as they were.

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