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The Masked Tulip

Advice on cancelling energy supplier direct debit

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I used that money saving expert energy club thing to change my energy supplier in September. I changed to a firm called Outfox the Market which was advised to be the best deal at the time.

They now give the impression that they are in trouble. Having raised prices and frequently changed direct debits to customers over the past month.

On Friday I instigated a move to British Gas.

Sept 21 I paid £33 up front

Oct 21 I paid £33 up front

Nov 21 I paid £33 up front

Each month I have given them my meter readings.

I got an email last week advising me that on 21st Dec they will take a direct debit of £44 and £44 thereafter.

In the past hour I have got an email stating that this will now be £71 on the 21st and thereafter.

I understand that they have stopped some people changing suppliers claiming outstanding debts. I wish to stop them taking £71 out as I am leaving and whatever my first bill will be with them will not be a combination of 3 x £31 plus £71.

I fear they are going under and do not want them to take any more money from my account. I read on the MSE forum that some people who cancelled their DD had their DD reinstigated AND charged an extra £25.

I am going to email them later this morning to query this rise. I wonder if they have done this because they already know that I am leaving. I also sent them photos of my meter on Friday to show that my fuel use is that of a low user.

I appear to not be alone in this with numerous people complaining of DD's being raised considerably. I note lots of people saying that they are leaving.

 

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According to the MSE forum they have beens setting up DD's using a different company name.

Lots of people got emails this weekend with hugely increased sums but apparently the DD's are different details to those already set up.

I think OFGEM need to pull their finger out here. I will have to talk to my bank.

https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5924617&page=36#topofpage

2 minutes ago, Strawberry said:

Just cancel the DD with the bank, then settle any final bill from the supplier. They cannot setup a new DD without you requesting it. 

 

See my above post.

They apparently have in their T&C's the right to take £25 if you cancel a DD but I am not even sure that is legal.

But you point of settling any final bill makes the most sense if they can be stopped from setting up DD's.

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im so glad i started ignoring MSE many years ago.

The advice always seemed puerile and short term, no weight given to customer service or anything like that.

I also couldnt believe that martin lewis had a wife.

But then again so did elton john, so no accounting for taste there.

Edited by leonardratso

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39 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

According to the MSE forum they have beens setting up DD's using a different company name.

Lots of people got emails this weekend with hugely increased sums but apparently the DD's are different details to those already set up.

I think OFGEM need to pull their finger out here. I will have to talk to my bank.

https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5924617&page=36#topofpage

 

See my above post.

They apparently have in their T&C's the right to take £25 if you cancel a DD but I am not even sure that is legal.

Would appear the £25 is if you make a late payment. If you are confident you're in credit then they can't charge this. They cannot just help themselves to your money!

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6 minutes ago, Strawberry said:

Would appear the £25 is if you make a late payment. If you are confident you're in credit then they can't charge this. They cannot just help themselves to your money!

Yes, I think it would be waiting till the last moment, calculating fuel used and then cancelling it if in credit.

They give the impression of a company about to go under.

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You can cancel the Direct Debit with your bank, usually online, in moments.

However there is nothing to stop the supplier setting it up again. One massive flaw in this system is that your Bank will not ask for any evidential proof that you authorised a Direct Debit mandate, they just apply it on the say-so of the payee.

The way it works is that the supplier is "supposed to gain your authorisation" but nobody checks, so this part is open to abuse.

Keep a close eye on your bank account e.g. daily or twice daily and if you see a new mandate, cancel it again.

If any money does get taken, you can have the bank refund it and put it back. They're supposed to do this immediately and without "quibble".

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1 hour ago, The Masked Tulip said:

Seems that lots of people got emails ramping up their DD's.

https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5924617&page=37#topofpage

First lesson - do not trust the moneysavingexpert website for best deals on stuff like this.

Could you not just contact another supplier and switch. That will get you away. And once you have been asked for and submitted your final reading you can cancel the DD.

I'm with Octopus for home and business, 18 months now and happy so far.

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1 minute ago, Hopeful said:

Could you not just contact another supplier and switch. That will get you away. And once you have been asked for and submitted your final reading you can cancel the DD.

I'm with Octopus for home and business, 18 months now and happy so far.

I started the move on Friday. Takes about 21 days.

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This is timely

Eversmart Energy’s advance payment tariff sparks warning from Citizens Advice

Paywall - excerpt (that bit in bold - WTF?)

Britain’s leading consumer charity has sounded the alarm after a small energy supplier began taking advance payments of about £1,000 per customer and marketing its tariff like a financial savings product.

Eversmart Energy started encouraging households to pay for a year’s energy upfront in October, shortly before it missed a deadline to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds it owed through a green energy scheme.

It is marketing the tariff as “better value than an Isa or a high street savings account”, because it claims to pay 12 per cent interest on credit balances.

Citizens Advice warned of “serious implications” if such large advance payments become widespread because Ofgem rules stipulate that if a supplier goes bust all other households can be forced to pay for honouring its customers’ credit balances.

Six household suppliers have gone bust already this year, leaving other customers with a bill that could reach tens of millions of pounds and triggering an outcry over lax regulation.

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10 minutes ago, DTMark said:

This is timely

Eversmart Energy’s advance payment tariff sparks warning from Citizens Advice

Paywall - excerpt (that bit in bold - WTF?)

 

 

I think that means that the tax payer through OFGEM picks up the bill. But if some dodgy firm takes all that money up front and does a runner then the tax payer is left on the hook. 

Shocking that it is so lax safeguard wise in this day and age.

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1 minute ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I think that means that the tax payer through OFGEM picks up the bill. But if some dodgy firm takes all that money up front and does a runner then the tax payer is left on the hook. 

Shocking Completely unsurprising that it is so lax safeguard wise in this day and age.

FTFY

Hope you don't mind

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I joined outfoxthemarket in June. I first contacted them to advise that my DD was too high in September. Hilariously their response was to try and increase it. They told me I hadn't been with them long enough to change the DD ?!? when I advised them that I have 4 1/2 years days on our energy usage they dismissed this because they obviously know better than I ! Anyway, the last straw was when they increased my DD by 175% to cover the winter months. I cancelled my DD and I have a spreadsheet showing exactly what I have used. I'm going to put the wheels in motion for leaving this week as they are still the cheapest for me until 1st Jan. I've suspected they're going bust since September tbh. I also switched my mum to them so I've got double the hassle to sort :CryBaby:

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For future reference, if you can afford it, you should always pay bills as they come (quarterly). I have always and always will do this, so that they cannot ramp up the price every month and hold me over a barrel.

I'd check if what you've signed is a credit agreement or not (I suspect it is) and in which case you don't want to cancel it.

PS: The advertised savings for paying by DD are about 5%, basically fuck all.

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Just now, spunko said:

For future reference, if you can afford it, you should always pay bills as they come (quarterly). I have always and always will do this, so that they cannot ramp up the price every month and hold me over a barrel.

I'd check if what you've signed is a credit agreement or not (I suspect it is) and in which case you don't want to cancel it.

PS: The advertised savings for paying by DD are about 5%, basically fuck all.

Exactly the same here.

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1 minute ago, DTMark said:

Exactly the same here.

The fact that Martin Lewis never mentions this approach is better for the consumer, turned me off his site and I never trust his advice now.

Well, that, and the fact he never incorporated as a company so people couldn't see how he was making millions off such dodgy advice.

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I was paying quarterly but was on a standard tarriff with Scottish Power so was paying about £400 a year too much.

With the new DD from OFTM I will, if I was staying, be paying them more than Scottish Power.  Which, for a firm that MSE said was the cheapest best deal just a fee months ago, is just wank.

I have got a good fixed term with British Gas assuming it is accepted and goes through.

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11 minutes ago, Iamcynical said:

I joined outfoxthemarket in June. I first contacted them to advise that my DD was too high in September. Hilariously their response was to try and increase it. They told me I hadn't been with them long enough to change the DD ?!? when I advised them that I have 4 1/2 years days on our energy usage they dismissed this because they obviously know better than I ! Anyway, the last straw was when they increased my DD by 175% to cover the winter months. I cancelled my DD and I have a spreadsheet showing exactly what I have used. I'm going to put the wheels in motion for leaving this week as they are still the cheapest for me until 1st Jan. I've suspected they're going bust since September tbh. I also switched my mum to them so I've got double the hassle to sort :CryBaby:

It would not surprise me if they went bust any day now. I suspect the big DD increases over the weekend - some say they are in a different company name - does not bode well does it?

To be frank, for me, it would be best of they went bust right now.

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3 minutes ago, spunko said:

The fact that Martin Lewis never mentions this approach is better for the consumer, turned me off his site and I never trust his advice now.

Well, that, and the fact he never incorporated as a company so people couldn't see how he was making millions off such dodgy advice.

There are some companies which should simply never, ever be trusted with Direct Debit mandates.

Energy suppliers and telecoms companies spring to mind.

Indeed not so long ago I had a run-in with EE because of overcharging and cancelled the DD mandate I was daft enough to sign up to in response throwing the ball back to them to fix.

Since that had just started a brand new contract, I strongly suspect that this action was the main thing that got a call from their Customer Services and got this sorted. How terrifying; having to rely on the customer to make the payments.

Indeed I have never put it back onto DD and now I think about it, the number of DDs I have has returned to zero.

 

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I was previously with first utility and paid them monthly, exactly what we used.

I left when they ramped up their prices.

OFTM didn't offer this option though.

We are frogs being slowly boiled with energy prices though. They are taking the piss. 

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10 minutes ago, Iamcynical said:

I was previously with first utility and paid them monthly, exactly what we used.

I left when they ramped up their prices.

OFTM didn't offer this option though.

We are frogs being slowly boiled with energy prices though. They are taking the piss. 

A 68 yr old neighbour popped round last week. He was wearing an overcoat and would not remove it as I did not have the heating on during the day. It was about 10 or 11 degrees.

I put the heating on. He took off his coat to reveal a sodding t-shirt. Then he told me about his £200 winter payment. 

I turned the heating back off and told him to put on a jumper.

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