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Beware the new online direct debit manager

posted by Jonnel | 9 months ago

So now the last child's left and we're in a smaller house but both still working our cosumption has dwindled. We're using so little gas/electric I decided to lower the monthly DD from £64 to £50, as we're over £108 in credit already. So it turns out on the new online DD manager I can reduce the monthly DD by that £14..... as long as I pay £475 up front. In other words, I have to be £583 in credit, in order to save £14 next month. 

That's Scottish Power for you.

8 comments

posted by Davc | 9 months ago
Re: Beware the new online direct debit manager

That is surprising, but the way the calculation works is to estimate the next 12 months of cost and divide by 12 after adding or subtracting current balances. So I guess if you keep £50 a month and you need the £583 credit to see you through 12 months, it suggests your annual costs are £1183. However asking for it up front like that is a new policy which nobody has reported yet. Better stick to your original DD of £64 but you would still need to find extra to see you through the year at some time in the future unless your consumption drops a bit more.

posted by whiteowl | 9 months ago
Re: Beware the new online direct debit manager

This happened to me, i was in credit and did not think i wanted to pay any extra to keep my DD. I keep it low in summer and up it in winter as i know how much to pay to keep us both happy. I whent on the chat line  and said that i was in credit and wanted my DD to stay the same (they had upped another £20 ) no problem they said and my DD was put back down for the next month. It is a joke to put people more in credit.

posted by Jonnel | 9 months ago
Re: Beware the new online direct debit manager
I appreciate your comment Davc, but you're missing the point. If we were discussing the old DD manager I would agree with you 100%, but we're not. On the old system not only could you lower your DD for the odd month here and there when you wished to, but you were not forced to pay a 'one-off' charge unless you were lowering that DD by a considerable amount, and then the 'one-off' was only in the £50 to £100 range. Considering Scottish Power have altered my DD for me over the years on a month-by-month basis whenever they wanted to without my express permission, the implication is that consumers can alter it on a month-by-month basis too. I explained this to the 'Helpline' - that I only wanted to lower the DD by £14 for the remainder of the summer period (I had an argument with them last year whilst I was £700 in credit and they didn't want to refund it) and that I intended to raise it again once we got into autumn and my consumption increased. The answer that came from them was that I could raise my DD to £75 if I wanted to but would still have to pay the £475 as well, putting me in credit to the tune of £608... IN THE HEIGHT OF SUMMER, WITH NO C/H ON AND BOTH OF US AT WORK ALL DAY. All I wanted was to reduce my credit balance of £108 by £14 a month while I'm using hardly any fuel and they don't want me to... they want me to INCREASE my DD when I'm using little fuel or build up a huge credit balance again whilst both I AND THEY have the option of increasing my DD each month.

The question remains:- Why should I have to pay £475 to lower my DD by £14 for one month ?

posted by Jonnel | 9 months ago
Re: Beware the new online direct debit manager
You must be higher up the list of valued customers than I am, Whiteowl. Last year I was in credit by nearly £700 towards the end of the summer and Scottish Power refused to refund it at first, saying I needed that credit to pay my winter bills even though the DD that was set up would more than cover it. Eventually they gave me a refund when I created a complaint, but not all of it. This year, I only have a credit of £108 so far, and haven't even asked for any of that back, just want to lower the next couple of months DD by £14 a month so I don't build up so high a credit again - the one's better off in my bank than theirs. The computer said: 'No.' so I rang the 'Helpline' The guy on the 'Helpline' said: 'No... but you can raise it to £75 if you like... It should be £75 anyway... There's just a one-off payment of £475 to pay... '

So I said: 'No.'

posted by whiteowl | 9 months ago
Re: Beware the new online direct debit manager
On the old DDM system i was a lot in credit after the winter so i did reduce it over a few month's till i had it down to £25 . But i did not have to pay a one of payment like the new system. The whole point of this was i kept my money in my bank earning interest and not in theirs. This month i owe them £5.35 and kept my DD the same. As i have said in other posts i will owe them one month and the next they owe me which will cover the next months bill. I will of course up my DD as we enter the winter months. We the customer are not as thick as energy firms think and i resent the fact that we cannot think for ourselves when it comes to keeping our eyes on bills.

posted by harfield2 | 8 months ago
Re: Beware the new online direct debit manager

Did any one think of cancelling the DD untill the over payment is used up?

posted by Davc | 8 months ago
Re: Beware the new online direct debit manager

Beware of cancelling a DD without consent, it can damage your credit rating, even if you are not in debt.

 

posted by Jonnel | 7 months ago
Re: Beware the new online direct debit manager

Plus - In most cases, paying by Direct Debit is contractual to the tariff you're on so if you cancel, SP would have every right to shift you off that tariff to their standard rate (or whatever they choose) which is invariably going to be more expensive.