Pure Planet is not interested in keeping Members’ credit and the purpose of Direct Debit reviews


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Hi everyone

We’re currently carrying out our Direct Debit reviews to make sure that our Members haven’t built up excessive debit or credit.

Our warmer / cooler payment schedule has been designed to prevent this happening, but there’s a few reasons why someone might be paying too much or too little, or have built up too much credit or debit:


  • They may have over or under estimated their usage (commonly caused by selecting high, medium or low usage when getting a quote rather than entering actual usage).
  • Circumstances may have changed, for example getting an EV charger installed, or someone moving in or out of a property
  • Unseasonably cold or mild weather

Price comparison website MoneySuperMarket is reported to have carried out research showing that some energy companies are holding on to their customers’ credit.

It said more than eight million people were in credit for energy by an average £108 each after a mild winter, and claimed Co-Operative Energy kept the most credit, with its customers in credit by around £196 - a figure which has been disputed by the firm.

Our team at Pure Planet is currently in the middle of a Direct Debit review which we carry out on every Member’s account approximately once every six months.

We have no interest in our Members building up lots of credit. It's normal for there to be a little bit of debit or credit on your account. As we take payments in advance we would expect your account to always be about one month’s payment in credit.

Every member - apart from those who’ve joined us in the last three months - has already received (or will soon get) an email from us which explains that we’ve reviewed your DD payments.

The email explains that you’re either:

On track
This means your DD payments already match your energy use. No action needs to be taken, and we’ll review your accounts again in about six months.

You've built up debit or credit
If we haven't received a meter reading from you recently we'll ask you for one of these so we have an accurate record of your usage.

If you’re paying too much and built up too much credit then we’ll refund you and then adjust your payments down to stop you building up credit.

If you’re paying too little and built up a debit then we’ll arrange to take a one-off payment or put in place a debt repayment plan, and then adjust your payments up to stop you building up credit.

Don't forget you can view your Direct Debits payment info at any time in your Pure Planet app - go to Menu > Balance & payments.

​Please send us regular monthly meter readings so that your payments and energy use stay on track
:o

We’ll always contact you before we make any changes. Check out our
FAQs on payments and billing for more info.

45 replies

Hi Marc,
Having read your latest post regarding the DD 6 month review, and taking into account my recent thread "Direct Debit changed". I must admit to being really intrigued about my next DD payment , due on 1st April. I will post in my original thread which payment is taken.......will post again on about 2nd/3rd April.
I'm over £300 in credit from a £105 a month bill. Been waiting patiently for my DD review but not heard anything.
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adunn;26508:
I'm over £300 in credit from a £105 a month bill. Been waiting patiently for my DD review but not heard anything.


Hi there
Marc's post says "Every member - apart from those who’ve joined us in the last three months - has already received (or will soon get) an email from us which explains that we’ve reviewed your DD payments."
I'd be tempted to give it to the end of next week, and if you have not heard anything, go to Help, click on Wattbot, put 'message the team' in the subject line and explain the situation and you will get a response within two working days.
Hope you get it sorted
Stephen
Hi all, I have been on this site before but have not received a reply. pp have wrote to me saying they have been trying to contact me as i am in debt for 1,722.87. They want to discuss payments. I joined in august 2018. I have been paying the first 2 months was £54.00 then £81.00. I have just received a bill which i do not understand.they have my gas reading but not my electric, I do not know why they have not received the electric meter reading as i sent it with the gas reading via my phone app. I am regretting joining. pp have not even sent my old supplier my final reading. I do not know what to do for the best. Susan
Hi @susandixon17

I joined in august 2018. I have been paying the first 2 months was £54.00 then £81.00.

We take a little less in the warmer months, and a little more in the cooler months, to match our Members' energy usage.
As we don't have fixed term contracts or charge exit fees, averaging payments over 12 months could cause Members to build up very high credits or debits, depending on the time of year they join. Here's a bit more info from our FAQs section.
The warmer months run from April to September, and the colder months from October to March. So your first two payments were August and September, in the warmer months, which is why they were lower.
And of course we're about to go into the warmer months again!

I have just received a bill which i do not understand.they have my gas reading but not my electric

Do you mean that there's an estimated reading for electricity? It may be that there's an actual reading followed by an estimate which is being used for part of your billing period?
Hope this helps
🆙
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susandixon17;26615:
Hi all, I have been on this site before but have not received a reply.

Hi Susan
The fact is every post you have made on this site has received a reply, indeed several replies. So it would be worth checking that out.
But it sounds that your current situation is confusing to say the least. Have you been to Wattbot and sent a message headed 'message the team'? They should get back to you within two working days.
Stephen
I don't understand this system. Why can't i build up credit in the summer if I want to? I get paid the same amount every month all year round and like regular direct debit payments to match this. I want to build up credit in the summer to help pay for the winter - why won't you let me?
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Hi Giflos,

Welcome to the community.

If you have a look at your welcome email and attached welcome pack leading up to joining PP explained their DD Method.
Seasonal DD's annual split from Oct - March = 60% reduced to 40% from April - Sept.

Heres a linked message thread.
https://community.purepla.net/threads/5118-Reminder-Warmer-months-means-Direct-Debit-payments-will-be-lower

Some of us find it quite neat and some don't but it does form part of the offer.

Sorry not the news you was expecting
I did see that when I signed up but this has now put me in a debit position. Other notes above show other people have built up credit. I just don't understand why there is no customer choice. I like the co. green ethos but will have to go to a different supplier as I can't afford the split payment system!
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giflos;26853:
I did see that when I signed up but this has now put me in a debit position. Other notes above show other people have built up credit. I just don't understand why there is no customer choice. I like the co. green ethos but will have to go to a different supplier as I can't afford the split payment system!


Hi there

I'm just trying to understand how you can't afford the winter/summer split system. Over a year you'll pay the same as if you'd had 12 equal payments - and you are about to have the six lower payments, which surely makes it more affordable at this point? Or am I missing something?
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As Stephen says you are just moving into the 6 lower payments, but let me present it another way.
The difference is smaller than it seems, in fact it's half what it seems at first, here is why
If your annual cost was say £1200

with PP you'd pay
£80 for 6 months
£120 for 6 months

or if not split winter summer with a different company
£100 a month in 12 equal instalments


The difference isn't £40 a month more when it's higher or £40 less when warmer , it's £20 because if the payments were split equally you'd pay £100.

If your cash flow is so tight you've hit lucky as you've joined at the most advantageous time: you'd simply put the £20 into a jar for 6 months and there are your winter payments sorted (assuming no price changes)!

May I also point out that your reply makes no sense, on the one hand you say you can't afford the split system but on the other hand you want to hand a supplier more of your money so you can build up credit.
​I suspect the real issue is you want to pay a predictable and constant amount because that's how you've always budgeted, but you can still do that.


giflos;26853:
I did see that when I signed up but this has now put me in a debit position. Other notes above show other people have built up credit. I just don't understand why there is no customer choice. I like the co. green ethos but will have to go to a different supplier as I can't afford the split payment system!
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hi giflos
​See my reply above..
giflos;26834:
I don't understand this system. Why can't i build up credit in the summer if I want to? I get paid the same amount every month all year round and like regular direct debit payments to match this. I want to build up credit in the summer to help pay for the winter - why won't you let me?
I have always paid my bills by direct debit. I get paid the same salary every month winter and summer. I would like to pay the same amount for my energy bills all the year round. Paying less in the summer means I pay more in the winter - there is no saving over the year in cheaper summer bills - just the prospect of paying more next winter when I have Christmas to pay for. PP was happy enough for me to pay a month in advance at the beginning of the contract - that buffer has now gone. Why won't they let me build up the same buffer over the summer to offset the higher winter bills so I can pay the same amount all year round? Paying less in the summer is not a saving for me - it helps make winter less affordable. All I want is the option. I keep being told I can make additional payments but I can't work out how.

- - - Updated - - -

I think you are missing my point - you are saying that this modern electronics system means I have to physically store money in a jar because the system doesn't want to allow me to pay regular amounts? That makes no sense to me. You are right - I do want regular, predictable payments but what is wrong with that? As I say, I get a regular, predictable salary. My fuel consumption is less regular but for us it snowed in June last year and was hot in September - I think you have convinced me that the PP system is too inflexible for me. Back to my previous supplier, I think. I'm sad but the pricing just doesn't suit my needs.
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giflos;26865:
? Paying less in the summer is not a saving for me - it helps make winter less affordable. All I want is the option. I keep being told I can make additional payments but I can't work out how.

- - - Updated - - -

I think you are missing my point - you are saying that this modern electronics system means I have to physically store money in a jar because the system doesn't want to allow me to pay regular amounts? That makes no sense to me. You are right - I do want regular, predictable payments but what is wrong with that? I think you have convinced me that the PP system is too inflexible for me. Back to my previous supplier, I think. I'm sad but the pricing just doesn't suit my needs.


Hi giflos

Personally, I don't put the money in a jar, I put it in a bank where it earns 5% interest... But if 12 regular payments is what you want, I guess you'll have to switch - just hope you don't pay more for the privilege.

The info about how to make a one-off payment is here:

https://community.purepla.net/content/274-how-make-one-off-payment-Pure-Planet#ckb_start

Best of luck
Stephen
Hi Marc
I think the idea of DD reviews is really excellent but how do we request a refund for an excessive balance? I certainly have over twice my monthly DD as a positive balance and that after the cold months. I expect this to only grow month on month.
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hi savvyboy
no problem to get a refund, head over to help in the app( menu drop down list) ask wattbot, type “message the team and ask for your account to be reviewed. If you expect the credit to keep on growing you might want to consider a minor adjustment of the dd, but beware it’s difficult to gauge over a short period, especially with global warming!
I personally love the split payments. I know in advance how much is being taken and allows me to get a little interest on my "savings" during the summer. Great service all round. Thank you
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hi Sadruth
That's outrageously reasonable!:p

Sadruth;27194:
I personally love the split payments. I know in advance how much is being taken and allows me to get a little interest on my "savings" during the summer. Great service all round. Thank you
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Hi @Sadruth - So do I. 👍👍
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Yep I think the split payments are a good idea. I'd rather have my own money interest earning than in somebody else's bank - but that's my choice and PP fits the bill perfectly. I came from Ebico where I I paid on recipt of a bil quarterly. I perferred that as a way of keeping my money with me, but the PP way is the next best thing. And it does help prevent any "holy sh** how did I spend that much this winter" reaction 😃
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Stephen can I ask who you bank with 5% is very healthy return.

Giflos
Can I ask why you chose to switch to PP? It is was for cost you've improved your situation, if it was for the carbon neutral sustainability angle you've got that too. Surely saving the planet is worth a few rearrangements on your paying behaviours?
Ultimately it is your choice, as it is for the rest of us. For the record my main pt was carbon first, cost big bonus. Sorry to see you go.
Hi everybody,

Is it just me..........Or am I noticing a regular theme within the Community posts that the people who seem to be "unhappy/displeased" with how PP operates, all seem to be either "new" to PP or certainly "new" to the community !
​This is evident by the extremely low number of posts that these people have made previous to their "complaint" post.
I personally made sure that I fully understood the service that PP were providing and how the payments and review process would be applied to my account. It seems only common sense to me to ensure that "you" understand what you're signing up to.
It also seems to me that these people don't want to spend a few minutes of their time to aquaint themselves with the App and community systems.
I personally think that the App and other systems (Wattbot etc) are not perfect......but the PP team do seem to be diligently working away to achieve the best that they can be.

So if you haven't already "studied" the workability and content of the App and associated systems.....do yourself a favour and spend a bit of time, to understand how it all works for you and your account.
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Hi Gray4276

No it's the usual theme, discussed many times, but there are ideas in the in pipeline I believe that MAY mitigate some peoples unnecessary posts. Most of these posts are just failing to do any research before joining, followed by not utalising all the information available and FAQ's.
As another member previously posted you've got your cba..
That's often apparent by the repetitive member questions-posts that can be self answered by just opening the post before or scrolling through, as in reading the recent answers and advice!

Not all customers use the community until they need to!
And perhaps just using the phone screen for some is a bit prohibitive.

In my view this forum will always attrack a small % of dissatisfaction, lots are resolved easily and were not a problem in the first place. This is a great place if you have a concern or get frustrated.
Its just that we get to see it, quite fascinating really, a worthy asset and valuable idea by PP.

I guess as PP progresses more tweaks will arise and the community will reflect this rolling programme.

PP's offer is not all things to all people, you did, I did, many did a little research and have not looked back. I'm really impressed that we get to discuss all this, PP get to hear including those in the community that are not members!

But peeps will be peeps and no doubt none of us are perfect.
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Daspy;27277:
Stephen can I ask who you bank with 5% is very healthy return.


Hi Daspy
You can! Nationwide give 5% for one year, up to £2500. TSB currently give 5% up to £1500 - so if you're married you can have two individual accounts and a joint account. It's possible, still, just, to make sure that rainy day funds get a much better return than any savings account. I will also confess to switching current accounts quite often to take advantage of incentive payments. It's a way of making money when retired and there's occasionally some spare time!!
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stephenrand;27317:
Hi Daspy
You can! Nationwide give 5% for one year, up to £2500. TSB currently give 5% up to £1500 - so if you're married you can have two individual accounts and a joint account. It's possible, still, just, to make sure that rainy day funds get a much better return than any savings account. I will also confess to switching current accounts quite often to take advantage of incentive payments. It's a way of making money when retired and there's occasionally some spare time!!

Much appreciated stephenrand. This is advice that others in this thread might take advantage of. Thanks

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