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Why do my monthly payments have to be different?

  • 11 July 2018
  • 9 replies
  • 1837 views

I switched to Pure Planet today and was somewhat taken aback to discover that I will be charged 30 pounds more in the winter months than I will be in the summer ones. I'm a pensioner who has paid the same amount every month for all of my life and would much prefer to pay as I have always done. While I appreciate that this will mean more money in my pocket for half of the year, experience has taught me that it doesn't work out that way in reality, because something else always comes along to fill the void and so you can never save for when the payments are increased. Far better as far as I'm concerned to know I always have to find the same amount every month - if this cannot be done for some reason, then I think I'll have to reconsider my decision to join up with you.
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Best answer by woz 11 July 2018, 17:06

Hi Tobw
Welcome to PP and the community.

I guess it's a matter of perspective, you said "...was somewhat taken aback to discover that I will be charged 30 pounds more in the winter months than I will be in the summer ones" but you could equally have said ...I was pleased to discover that I will be charged 30 pounds less in the summer months than I will be in the winter ones!

I agree the Summer winter split doesn't suit everybody but the reasoning behind it is sound. The way most other energy companies work is to divide your annual usage by 12 and then the payment is the same every month, but this has disadvantages depending on where in the year you start because people always use more energy in the winter.
With other suppliers if you start at the beginning of summer you then build up a credit (the money sits in their account) and through the winter, you probably aren't paying enough and the credit you've built up (in their account) is slowly depleted. The converse is also true, you would be going into debt if you started at beginning of winter.
PP's system irons much of this out, you pay more when you use more. The split is 60% of your annual amount in the winter and 40% in the summer.
I admit it does make domestic budgeting more difficult if you're used to paying a fixed amount every month, but it's fairer.

You could ask for your direct debit to change twice a year, or you could put half of the difference between the winter and summer amounts into a separate account in the summer, and use it to pay the winter months..... or better still just leave it and over time it should work out OK if your estimated yearly use is fairly accurate.
If it's any consolation there have been a few comments about this, and maybe it's something that will be considered in the future, but equally most customers have adapted to this without problems.

As far as something cropping up to fill the void, that's not going to change whatever payment plan you use, if it's going to happen it's going to happen...

Good luck with whatever decision you make.
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Userlevel 7
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Hi Tobw
Welcome to PP and the community.

I guess it's a matter of perspective, you said "...was somewhat taken aback to discover that I will be charged 30 pounds more in the winter months than I will be in the summer ones" but you could equally have said ...I was pleased to discover that I will be charged 30 pounds less in the summer months than I will be in the winter ones!

I agree the Summer winter split doesn't suit everybody but the reasoning behind it is sound. The way most other energy companies work is to divide your annual usage by 12 and then the payment is the same every month, but this has disadvantages depending on where in the year you start because people always use more energy in the winter.
With other suppliers if you start at the beginning of summer you then build up a credit (the money sits in their account) and through the winter, you probably aren't paying enough and the credit you've built up (in their account) is slowly depleted. The converse is also true, you would be going into debt if you started at beginning of winter.
PP's system irons much of this out, you pay more when you use more. The split is 60% of your annual amount in the winter and 40% in the summer.
I admit it does make domestic budgeting more difficult if you're used to paying a fixed amount every month, but it's fairer.

You could ask for your direct debit to change twice a year, or you could put half of the difference between the winter and summer amounts into a separate account in the summer, and use it to pay the winter months..... or better still just leave it and over time it should work out OK if your estimated yearly use is fairly accurate.
If it's any consolation there have been a few comments about this, and maybe it's something that will be considered in the future, but equally most customers have adapted to this without problems.

As far as something cropping up to fill the void, that's not going to change whatever payment plan you use, if it's going to happen it's going to happen...

Good luck with whatever decision you make.
Hi @Tobw
All I can do is echo what @woz has said, which is spot on
The payments flex to colder and warmer months to match usage and protect members from building up too much debt or too much credit.
It means a little less in warmer months and a little more in the colder months to mirror the pattern of energy use.
Hope that helps?
Userlevel 7
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Marc;8497:
Hi @Tobw
All I can do is echo what @woz has said,


and far more succinctly!
Thanks for the replies, but I don't agree with you at all. I have spent all of my life being happy to pay the same amount every month because I have been content knowing that I should have enough in credit to get me through the winter months I appreciate that my view may not be in the majority here, but it's disappointing to see that it seems I have no choice but to do what I'm being told - whatever happened to the customer is always right?
Have to agree with the customer here, the summer/winter payment system should not be imposed on customers if that’s not what they want. If that’s something you want to offer then that’s fine but an imposition is an altogether different ball game.

I also want my payment amount to be the same throughout the year, I don’t care about the credit balance that accrues in summer, what I do care about is having to find an extra £40 a month in winter. I’d rather pay more in summer and even it out than pay even more in winter. I am one of many that needs to budget and this is an unwelcome challenge to the monthly budget.

What I am also irritated by is that I contacted Pure Planet about this (I used wotbot or whatever it’s called and it said my question had been passed on to the team and I will get a reply), it’s been at least a week and still nothing... this doesn’t bode well. Yes you are the cheapest tariff on the market at the moment but only marginally, I am also wondering what the incentive is to stay.
Is there a phone number you can call to change my d/d. Help.!!
Userlevel 6
@Amar, to discuss that you need to use wattbot from the app and enter "message the team". There is no telephone, but the response is usually in a couple of days.
@Tobw I can sympathise with your points, all I can say from a different perspective is that it might be a nice bonus in the summer? I will give it a try for a couple of months. We can all change supplier again after 30 days anyway if there is something else more suitable for cash flow, even if the yearly cost would end up more.
Userlevel 7
Badge +10
hi Olivia
I must admit I never quite looked at it as being imposed so much as a fairer and simpler option. I believe PP are considering alternatives, but that's still work in progress.
If this was the other way round and I was with one of the larger companies I could equally well argue that they were imposing a fixed payment on me and whatever happened to the customer is always right because I wanted to pay less in Summer. I don't see many arguing that a fixed equal payment is "imposed", it's just the way it is, you're unhappy because it's different, you aren't used to it and it makes your budgeting more difficult, but there are many ways around it.

Also, if you're payment is £40 less in the summer that puts you at about £80 summer and £120 winter, so if you were to split it equally you'd be paying £100 every month, so it's not a £40 difference it's a £20 difference to find over what you'd be paying if payments were equal.

I do however agree with your comments about response times to an extent, a week is too long and that shouldn't happen, but unfortunately with all the recent price rises demand for PP has been large and to some extent they are a victim of their own success.
As a comparison I recently dealt with e.on by email and it took a week to get a reply.

Also don't forget (incentive wise) that it's important to many that it's renewable/green energy.

There is no penalty for switching out.

Olivia;11894:
Have to agree with the customer here, the summer/winter payment system should not be imposed on customers if that’s not what they want. If that’s something you want to offer then that’s fine but an imposition is an altogether different ball game.

I also want my payment amount to be the same throughout the year, I don’t care about the credit balance that accrues in summer, what I do care about is having to find an extra £40 a month in winter. I’d rather pay more in summer and even it out than pay even more in winter. I am one of many that needs to budget and this is an unwelcome challenge to the monthly budget.

What I am also irritated by is that I contacted Pure Planet about this (I used wotbot or whatever it’s called and it said my question had been passed on to the team and I will get a reply), it’s been at least a week and still nothing... this doesn’t bode well. Yes you are the cheapest tariff on the market at the moment but only marginally, I am also wondering what the incentive is to stay.
Amar;15164:
Is there a phone number you can call to change my d/d. Help.!!


Hi @Amar
Good question
You can change your Direct Debit account and the date in the app.
Here's an article from the community's knowledge hub which explains how.
Does that help you out?

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