Question

Untruth in the billing

  • 11 October 2021
  • 18 replies
  • 168 views

Why don 't they  of charge what you owe. And then rack up a debt?  Is this a long ten plan to. Keep you in debt? 


18 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

hi @casparjones 

Welcome to the community. 

we’d love to help but it’s hard to know  from your post what the problem is. 

Are you saying that you have to much balance, or too little balance or that you aren’t paying enough to cover your use or paying more than you think you need to? If you can explain what the problem is I’m sure the community will be able to help.

Reading between the lines the way it works is Pure Planet (and any supplier) estimate what you’ll use over a year and split that into 6  fixed Summer and 6 fixed Winter payments to cover the annual cost.

You will only ever pay for what you use, if you use less than the direct debit your balance will increase, if you use more than the direct debit your balance will reduce.

Would you prefer to be on Pay As You Go? 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Hi @casparjones 

Nearly every (possibly every?) energy company now works on the basis of evening out their customers' expected annual usage into 12 even payments so that they are not hit by very large payments in the winter. Pure Planet have modified this Idea slightly so that customers pay slightly less in the summer and slightly more in the winter, but the principle is still the same.

So my account builds up credit in the summer and goes into debit in the winter, but ends up with me having paid over the year for what I have used over the year.

Why would any energy company want you to be in debt?

The direct debit system is designed to help customers budget and pay for what they use over the course of a year without being hit by massively different payments in July and February.

Hope that explains helpfully

Stephen

Honestly, Pure Planet can’t win, for every customer complaining they ‘don’t have an equal monthly direct debit,’ there’s another complaining ‘why don’t they take the amount of my bill?’.


Well @casparjones, you may be in luck, in your case, I may, assuming I have understood your question, have your answers, which are:

1: Pure Planet are not psychic, they cannot charge you at the start of the billing month, for what they won’t know until the end of your billing month you’ve actually used.

2: If like myself, your energy use is not split 60% October to March/40% April to September - then during the ‘Summer’ months, you build up a debit, and during the ‘Winter’ months, you pay off that debit.

Is it a ‘long-term plan to keep you in debt’ - unlikely, any energy company when you join, has to base your usage on ‘historic’ information, either what you actually used last year, or what you tell them you used last year. They then have to base your payments on that, and hope it matches your actual usage/spending.

Now, with the best will in the world, it’s not likely that you will actually use exactly the same as you did last year, or that you will use it in ‘even’ amounts each month, so there will always be some form of credit/debit balance - not much they can do about it. This is even harder if you are on a variable contract, and there’s no way of guaranteeing which way prices will go, as evidenced by the current chaos in the energy market.

 

@casparjones I could say I am kept in credit! Pure Planet explained the system when I joined. It is not an issue but a company would not last long if it kept its customers  owing it money..

hi @casparjones 

Welcome to the community. 

we’d love to help but it’s hard to know  from your post what the problem is. 

Are you saying that you have to much balance, or too little balance or that you aren’t paying enough to cover your use or paying more than you think you need to? If you can explain what the problem is I’m sure the community will be able to help.

Reading between the lines the way it works is Pure Planet (and any supplier) estimate what you’ll use over a year and split that into 6  fixed Summer and 6 fixed Winter payments to cover the annual cost.

You will only ever pay for what you use, if you use less than the direct debit your balance will increase, if you use more than the direct debit your balance will reduce.

Would you prefer to be on Pay As You Go? 

 

I don't want to be in debt to your company. I look at my statements and apparently I owe large sums of money,  readings that I sent were not far off what your estimates are. So why the big difference in what I owe. Also how do I pay it off in one go. I don't want to owe BP ( pure planet anything). How do I pay my balance off in one go. Repeat. I don't want to be in debt to you. I'd rather I over pay. How do I pay what I owe in one go? 

@casparjones I could say I am kept in credit! Pure Planet explained the system when I joined. It is not an issue but a company would not last long if it kept its customers  owing it money..

Well, that's not my experience with these guys... And sorry you are wrong, many many companies work on its customers owing money. It's actually pretty much how most of the economy and banks works. so disagree with you buddy. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

@casparjones 

As pure Planet have now ceased trading, that's something you will have to take up with your new supplier once they have been chosen.

Honestly, Pure Planet can’t win, for every customer complaining they ‘don’t have an equal monthly direct debit,’ there’s another complaining ‘why don’t they take the amount of my bill?’.


Well @casparjones, you may be in luck, in your case, I may, assuming I have understood your question, have your answers, which are:

1: Pure Planet are not psychic, they cannot charge you at the start of the billing month, for what they won’t know until the end of your billing month you’ve actually used.

2: If like myself, your energy use is not split 60% October to March/40% April to September - then during the ‘Summer’ months, you build up a debit, and during the ‘Winter’ months, you pay off that debit.

Is it a ‘long-term plan to keep you in debt’ - unlikely, any energy company when you join, has to base your usage on ‘historic’ information, either what you actually used last year, or what you tell them you used last year. They then have to base your payments on that, and hope it matches your actual usage/spending.

Now, with the best will in the world, it’s not likely that you will actually use exactly the same as you did last year, or that you will use it in ‘even’ amounts each month, so there will always be some form of credit/debit balance - not much they can do about it. This is even harder if you are on a variable contract, and there’s no way of guaranteeing which way prices will go, as evidenced by the current chaos in the energy market.

 

Yes I understand, but the discrepancy is huge in my opinion. I'd just don't like being in debt and want to pay off what I owe. Especially to companies linked to BP. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

hi @casparjones 

Thank you for the clarification, at least we (the community) now have something to go on.

First of all it’s not my company. In fact it’s now not anyone’s company as it’s just ceased trading. The replies you’ve had to date have been from other community members who don’t work for PP.

You will be migrated to a new supplier by Ofgem and your balance (be it credit or debit ) will be moved across to the new supplier, you will have every opportunity to pay it to the new supplier so at this stage just put the money to one side as it will likely take a couple of months before you can settle.

The answer to the other part of your question is, on the face of it, simple, if the facts are as you presented.
If the estimated readings are close to the real readings to date and the  debt is persistently increasing, then you aren’t paying enough for the amount of energy you’re using and your original quote was for too little energy. 

There could be other factors but if there are you would need to give more info. May I ask has the debt built up over a large number of months? How much does it say you owe and how much is your monthly direct debit in October?

There is (was) a mechanism for making one-off payments but I would highly recommend that you don’t do anything at this stage as it will be sorted by your new supplier. 

Take a record of your meter readings, weekly and note them, if there is any untruth (your words, I assume you meant that there is some mistake in the billing? ) those readings will help sort out whatever issues there are later on.

If you want to post back with more details feel free, or if you prefer to ask customer services (who for obvious reasons are completely swamped) log in go to help>ask a Q (wattbot) and ask there (you’ll need to see a reply that the message is passed to the team ) replies will be delayed.

Don’t cancel your direct debit.

 

@casparjones I could say I am kept in credit! Pure Planet explained the system when I joined. It is not an issue but a company would not last long if it kept its customers  owing it money..

Well, that's not my experience with these guys... And sorry you are wrong, many many companies work on its customers owing money. It's actually pretty much how most of the economy and banks works. so disagree with you buddy. 

..and that I certainly disagree with.
 

It is academic now but I remind you, as others have, this was the system you knew operated before signing but signed up to it. Not only that if you thought you weren’t paying enough, which seems to be what you are saying, then it was always open to you to request your payments are adjusted. @woz has given you much useful advice.

Hello @casparjones 

This may be a useful read for you:

 

My friend, the whole economy works on debt.... It's just a fact, it's quite stunning you have no concept of this. "The system" was transferred to me as a housemate of mine moved out. Yes correct, I didn't read the exact details of what was passed onto me, and in no way accusing PP of breaking the law. However, they seemed to promote themselves as fair, green, and an honest bunch. The Idea of green energy is concept with which I totally agree. Once all this is done can you recommend another green company I can join?  Another point Is if my meter readings are so close to what the estimate was ( good work by pp) why would I have fairly large debt? Just charge what I owe and I'll pay it. Simple.

Another point Is if my meter readings are so close to what the estimate was ( good work by pp) why would I have fairly large debt? Just charge what I owe and I'll pay it. Simple.

Now, not knowing when you submitted your meter readings, I’d point out something here;

Your ‘Monthly estimated meter readings’ on which the ‘bill’ part of your statement is based, are not the same things as your ‘Estimated Annual Consumption’ on which your Direct Debit is based.

The first is, or at least should be, a ‘reasonably’ accurate representation of your usage month by month, so the closer you submit ‘your’ readings to the statement date, the ‘more accurate’ your ‘monthly bill’ will be.
The other is designed to make allowances for the fact you should use more electricity, and in particular if you are on it - gas, in the ‘Autumn/Winter’ than the ‘Spring/Summer’ and work out roughly what your ‘total usage over a 12 month period’ is.
That ‘Estimated Annual Consumption’ is then divided into two 6 month periods, you pay 40% of it between April and September, and 60% between October and March.

I feel you are going to be very disappointed with whichever energy supplier you are moved to, or move yourself to, as pretty much all ‘domestic’ ones, use a system similar to this for their direct debits, and Pure Planet’s the only one which tries to ‘balance’ it with the ‘split’.

If you were that concerned about your debt, why did you not make a ‘one-off payment’ the system existed to do so? 


I feeI like I’m repeating myself, but let me put it like this:

If Pure Planet think that your energy bill is (for argument’s sake) £1000 per year,
They will divide that bill into 12 payments - 6 of £100 in Autumn/Winter, 6 of £66.66 in Spring/Summer.
Now if your usage matches that split - all is hunky dory.

If however, your usage is actually roughly equal each month, and you supply readings somewhere near to ‘Statement’ day, then what will happen if you join in April, for arguments sake, is this:

April ‘Estimated’ Bill £83.33 Payment £66.66 debt £16.67
May ‘Estimated’ Bill £83.33 Payment £66.66 debt £16.67 Total Debt £33.34
June ‘Estimated’ Bill £83.33 Payment £66.66 debt £16.67 Total Debt £50.01
July ‘Estimated’ Bill £83.33 Payment £66.66 debt £16.67 Total Debt £66.68
August ‘Estimated’ Bill £83.33 Payment £66.66 debt £16.67 Total Debt £83.35
September ‘Estimated’ Bill £83.33 Payment £66.66 debt £16.67 Total Debt £100.02
October ‘Estimated’ Bill £83.34 Payment £100.00 Credit £16.66 Total Debt £83.36
November ‘Estimated’ Bill £83.34 Payment £100.00 Credit £16.66 Total Debt  £66.70
December ‘Estimated’ Bill £83.34 Payment £100.00 Credit £16.67 Total Debt £50.04
January ‘Estimated’ Bill £83.34 Payment £100.00 Credit £16.66 Total Debt £33.38
February ‘Estimated’ Bill £83.33 Payment £100.00 Credit £16.67 Total Debt £16.71
March ‘Estimated’ Bill £83.33 Payment £100.00 Credit £16.67 Total Debt £0.04

Now you may well have been sending in readings in the Spring/Summer which said ‘but I’m spending £83.33 per month, not £66.66’ and after a while Pure Planet may well have re-jigged your EAC, but even then, they expect your usage to contain that 60/40 split.

Yes by September/October you have a ‘big debt’ - I always have, but by the following April the payment split cleared it.

I’ve been with Pure Planet for 2 and half years this month, for the entirety of that time, I’ve built up a ‘debt’ between April and September, and cleared it between October and March, and most months I’ve given my readings on or near to ‘Statement Day’ so my ‘estimates’ when used, are rarely out by more than 10 kWh.

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

My friend, the whole economy works on debt.... It's just a fact, it's quite stunning you have no concept of this. "The system" was transferred to me as a housemate of mine moved out. Yes correct, I didn't read the exact details of what was passed onto me, and in no way accusing PP of breaking the law. However, they seemed to promote themselves as fair, green, and an honest bunch. The Idea of green energy is concept with which I totally agree. Once all this is done can you recommend another green company I can join?  Another point Is if my meter readings are so close to what the estimate was ( good work by pp) why would I have fairly large debt? Just charge what I owe and I'll pay it. Simple.

@casparjones

It is done, you’ve been charged for what PP think your account has used (whether you or the previous person has used it).

What is stunning  (your word) is that you appear to have  absolutely no concept of how your account works after having had this explained repeatedly and patiently by several different and very helpful community members.

If you give us some numbers readings, dates charges etc to go on I’m sure we can explain your billing  issues. PP have ceased trading, I’m not sure if you’re aware of that?

In the absence of further information from you,  and you continuing to explain to us how superior you are and how stupid we are and that we don’t understand the concept of how energy suppliers and billing systems work,  then,  if there really  is some underlying issue you’ll need to sort it out with your new supplier because you won’t get any more help here unless you provide more information and fewer comments of that nature. (Harsh I know but that’s how we roll)

We’ve tried to help the offer still stands.

Simple.

P.S.

Maybe it’s a cultural thing but it’s one of my many foibles that when someone addresses me (or anyone else) as “My friend” my first thought is I am (or they are) not their friend (unless it’s one of my friends but as I unsurprisingly don’t have any friends that never happens)

Disclaimer

I don’t represent  the entity that was Pure Planet.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

My friend, the whole economy works on debt.... It's just a fact, it's quite stunning you have no concept of this. "The system" was transferred to me as a housemate of mine moved out. Yes correct, I didn't read the exact details of what was passed onto me, and in no way accusing PP of breaking the law. However, they seemed to promote themselves as fair, green, and an honest bunch. The Idea of green energy is concept with which I totally agree. Once all this is done can you recommend another green company I can join?  Another point Is if my meter readings are so close to what the estimate was ( good work by pp) why would I have fairly large debt? Just charge what I owe and I'll pay it. Simple.

@casparjones

It is done, you’ve been charged for what PP think your account has used (whether you or the previous person has used it).

What is stunning  (your word) is that you appear to have  absolutely no concept of how your account works after having had this explained repeatedly and patiently by several different and very helpful community members.

If you give us some numbers readings, dates charges etc to go on I’m sure we can explain your billing  issues. PP have ceased trading, I’m not sure if you’re aware of that?

In the absence of further information from you,  and you continuing to explain to us how superior you are and how stupid we are and that we don’t understand the concept of how energy suppliers and billing systems work,  then,  if there really  is some underlying issue you’ll need to sort it out with your new supplier because you won’t get any more help here unless you provide more information and fewer comments of that nature. (Harsh I know but that’s how we roll)

We’ve tried to help the offer still stands.

Simple.

P.S.

Maybe it’s a cultural thing but it’s one of my many foibles that when someone addresses me (or anyone else) as “My friend” my first thought is I am (or they are) not their friend (unless it’s one of my friends but as I unsurprisingly don’t have any friends that never happens)

Disclaimer

I don’t represent  the entity that was Pure Planet.


 

I am going to miss you humour 😂  

 

@woz When somebody starts off with “my friend” in circumstances like this I see it as a term of degradation and a misplaced feeling of superiority on the part of the user.

I keep expecting ‘We have ways of making you talk’ to appear somewhere.

Still, I tried my best, if that’s not good enough, well I’m not losing any sleep over it.

Oh and @casparjones, in view of the fact Pure Planet is soon no longer going to be your problem, Eon.next use a variable direct debit to charge you for what you use each and every month.

I wish them the best of luck.

Gwyndy​​​​​​​

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

@Lapa @Gwyndy @G4RHL 

LOL

My friend, it’s a known fact that community is based on ironic humour, it’s stunning that you don’t realise this, are you all stupid or what?

I’d class this one as out with a bang not a whimper…

I've been waiting so long
To be where I'm going
In the sunshine of your love…

cue guitar solo...

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