Delayed bills

I’m posting here because there’s a lot of financial knowledge on this forum!

Bulb haven’t collected my electricity for something like two years! Previously, it had been paid automatically by direct debit but they’ve apparently had an IT fault.

I now have a bill of like £1000 but they’ve deducted £400.

What’s the best case scenario for me here? I should have to pay for some of my usage but it’s not my fault they failed to collect payment and have now left me up sh*t creek.

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you probably owe them the full amount legally, you may have a right to pay it off over 2 years

Does the balance include late payment fees etc?

Similar happened to me with British Gas a few years ago where they estimated my usage as 0 due to an IT fault, then tried to hit me with a £2,000 bill a year later.

I got nowhere with their useless complaints team and ended up going to the ombudsman. They weren’t very sympathetic to the fact I hadn’t noticed I wasn’t paying any gas (genuinely hadn’t) but in the end I was credited the full amount back.

Apparently it falls foul of the Energy UK’s Code of Practice for Accurate Bills.

I don’t know anymore about this so hopefully that points you in the right direction to do some research :slight_smile:

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Legalities aside, it is hard to believe you didn’t notice this for TWO YEARS. You have had 40% shaved off. I would say that is a very good outcome. Cough up the rest whether all at once or on a schedule both parties agree with.

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No late payment fees that I can see.

This is definitely a starting point. Thanks.

Hard to explain but I did have a working direct debit for numerous months, then it just stopped. I also pay a separate fee to Switch2 which is just for hot water but essentially I just thought that bill deduction was both.

I would ask if there’s a possibility of them taking a slightly larger payment on top of your bills from now on to work off the deficit as it’s their fault and they can’t ask you to pay the entire balance on the spot

so in that two years they sent you a bill? bills usually come monthly, quarterly every 6 months or yearly

They sent nothing! The direct debit is still active. They just didn’t collect.

You should get a bill whether by mail or email though?

Your fuel supplier is not allowed to bill you for energy further back than the last 12 months, if it has mistakenly not charged you for it.


It’s fair to say something went wrong here. No bills via email or post. They have both up to date details and had used them before.

Very useful, thank you. Will have a good old read now.

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Not sure I would dig my heels in too much

  • You have had, and used the energy @ £500 / year , that doesn’t seem to be in dispute.
  • They have offered you £400 discount for their error , which makes it £300 / year , £600 total ,which seems like a good deal really
  • You’ve had a years worth of energy for 100 quid in effect - you would I imagine be perfectly within your rights to request time to pay this amount - presumably they can charge you for the year anyway (12 months) so can charge you £500 whether they would give you time to pay this amount could be difficult if you turn difficult.
  • You have both not realised you have not been billed for it so really its both of your mistakes :man_shrugging:
    but -
  1. Paying for the energy
    3.1. You’re responsible for paying Bulb for your energy until this Agreement ends or until you stop using services provided by us, whichever is later.
  • having glanced through the T and Cs

" * 3.20.3. We have the right to install a prepayment meter at your property under warrant from the Magistrates’ or Sheriff’s Court without requiring your permission if your energy remains unpaid.

  • 3.20.4. We can temporarily suspend or permanently disconnect the supply without requiring your permission. "

this could potentially affect your credit score


" 10.1. We can refuse to supply you, suspend or disconnect your supply or tell you to stop using it if:

  • 10.1.2 You haven’t paid your bill on time, and we will re-start it as soon as possible once the bill has been paid. "

" * 10.2. If we have had to suspend or disconnect the supply, we may choose to do checks with a credit reporting agency and ask for a security deposit before we re-start or re-connect it.

  • 10.3. If we ask you, you must reimburse us for the cost of suspending or disconnecting the supply, as well as the cost for re-starting or re-connecting it. "

ohk but don’t banks usually cancel un-used DD after 13 months if not in use

I didn’t know that and it does appear the direct debit is now missing. I didn’t get any cancellation letters either, which I usually get from a company that I’ve cancelled the direct debit.