If your direct debits are escalating, Martin Lewis explains what you should do.
Before calling their energy suppliers about a “unfair” increase in their direct debits, MARTIN LEWIS advised Britons to “perform a meter reading first.”
The money saving guru was on BBC Radio 5Live’s Ask Martin podcast this afternoon, giving viewers advice on what to do if they are “in credit” but their energy companies are increasing their direct debit, and if this is fair.
“It’s reasonable if the hike is roughly proportional to the rate increase you’re paying,” he said.
“If you were on the price cap before, you would have noticed a 12 percent increase in your monthly payment.”
“It’s completely legal for that firm to contact you and say they’re increasing your direct debit – say by 12% because that’s how much extra electricity you’ll be paying for.”
He noted that the direct debit increase is only unjust in extreme cases.
For example, if a person in credit has raised their energy by 20%, the energy provider should not increase a person’s direct debit by 50% or 60%.
Mr Lewis stated, “It is not proportionate, that is not fair.”
Each person has a right to a fair direct debit under the Energy Licence Terms.
The money-saving expert expressed “grave concerns” that energy companies are disproportionately raising people’s direct debits to “artificially raise their cash flow” and “bring in more money.”
If Britons believe their direct debit hike is unfair, Martin suggests they contact to their suppliers.
“Always do a meter reading first so that any information is based on an accurate meter reading, and give it a few days to process through,” he advised.
“I’d contact them and ask, ‘Can you explain why you’ve increased my bills or direct debit by 60% when the rate you’re charging me is only increasing by 12%?'”‘That doesn’t seem appropriate to me.’
If there is no rationale, tell them, “I will not pay that much, and this is the amount I believe is reasonable,” and try to come to an agreement with them.
“Make an official complaint and go to the energy ombudsman if that doesn’t work.”
Mr Lewis also offered advice on how to deal with the current energy pricing situation. “Brinkwire News Summary.”