Hi Stephen, thanks for the prompt reply. Answers below:
The first question has to be - have you tried contacting Pure Planet about this at all? Yes, they came back to me by email but they're painfully slow
When they indicated they needed to increase the direct debit in May, did you ask why that was necessary? The didn't indicate it in May they did it in August, which I agreed to. As I said the first month, they took slightly more than they said they would (said: 369, took: 372) taken and then they increased it again (496)
The second comment is that I don't believe any utility company sets out to target an individual and rip them off. I totally disagree with you. They all do it. This way, you are tied into them for longer than the contract. I do their best to confuse the life out of you with the bill and then try to trap you. Also, they don't care who. Another utility company did it to my mum who's an 80 year pensioner. So if you end up paying more than you expect, one of two things has happened - either you are using more than you did, or something has gone wrong with the meter or the meter readings. I was more than happy to pay and was happy when they set it at the amount that I was paying previously. They had my meter readings from before.
Pure Planet were, and still are, one of the cheapest providers. Their original suggested direct debit payments were based on information you have provided, and the changes are based on the same information if you have been giving regular readings. As my grandmother always said: "Sometimes, cheap is dear". In this case we pay in poor customer service.
October was the first month of the winter months payment rate, everybody's direct debit went up 50%. 50% is find but mine went up 288%. As I said, I have been sending them monthly readings.
But your payments are certainly very high. I would contact Pure Planet urgently and get their explanation of what is going on. Done but don't hold out much hope.
If you login to the app click on the three little bars top right hand corner select Help then choose Wattbot put 'message the team' in the question box and then explain the problem. They promise to get back to you within one or two working days. Sorry, bots are not for me. I'm into humans. I think it's probably best to cancel my dd and then they will start calling me. Not my preferred approach but they're not the most responsive, unfortunatly. Like all these companies, you only find out how good they are when you need to liaise with them.
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Here's my readings, my charges and what I paid over the last 12 months in tabular format. Hopefully when I submit this the table code won't be stripped.
BTW, when I was with my last company I was paying £270 per month for both.
Plus this =
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With this informaiton in mind, putting my bill up to £369 makes sense and then leaving it at 305 through the summer would make sense. However, to put it up to £496 is wrong, don't you agree.
You are probably not going to like/accept my response to your situation......So.....
I haven't run your figures through my own spreadsheet yet.....but I will tomorrow, and I'll hopefully have a more accurate assessment of your position.
I have however done a very quick calculation based on your own supplied figures.......
Firstly using your DD figures of (summer mths) £172.43 and (winter mths) £258.65....Therefore 12 mth total is £2568.48
Secondly using your actual usage costs for the full 12 months, the ammount of energy used for 12 mth costs £3652.34
This indicates that your energy usage costs for a full 12 month period is underpaid (debit balance) of -£1083.86
If PP now have to recover the debit balance of £1083.86 over your "next 12 months"
.....and assuming an identical energy usage for the next 12 months then PP need to charge you for £1083.86 (arrears) + £3652.34 (annual costs) = £4736.20
Then your new DD payments would be approximately.....
Summer months = £315.75. Winter months = £473.62. HOWEVER
PP normally require any "outstandind debit" to be repaid over a 6 month period, so as we have just entered the winter period.....
And your payment/usage table shows that PP increased your Sep payment (last of the Summer mths) to £373.58 this indicates that PP are already trying to re-balance your account.
As I am not sure exactly when your account anniversary occurs, or when PP reviewed your account, it isn't clear if the September DD payment increase was in your previous annual accounting period, or the start of your new accounting period.
My calculations do indicate the following......
1. Your "actual" usage was above your "predicted" usage, which means that......
2. Your DD payments did not cover your actual costs by almost £1100 this means that........
3. Your "new" DD figures need to cover your "annual usage" of £3650 plus the debit balance of £1100......therefore
4. Your DD payments have had to be increased significantly to repay this new "predicted" total annual spend for the following year.
I have no doubts that PP's DD figures will not be far out.......but
You must contact PP through the App/Webpage via HELP and WattBot to get this resolved so that you can fully understand what is happening with your account.
I really hope that this helps you......