In case it has escaped your notice, Britain has seen temperatures that have been breaking records both during the day and at night. Before you’ve even got the top off your sun tan oil, you’ll no doubt be hearing the British complaints of: “if anything, it’s a bit too hot.”

The UK has around four months of summer and then eight months when the central heating is required as the temperature drops and frost is predicted. The current period of hot weather has seen us swap radiators for fans and offices installing air conditioning.

However, the question is how cool and refreshed do you feel when you have to embark on problems with your utility bills? Not very, would be the answer we’re guessing!

We all have been stressed out at one time in our life seeing much higher figures on the utility bill than we have expected. Is this something that has just happened to you? Before we start panicking, sometimes it can be a small mistake which is easily resolved. So, let’s take a look at common problems that may affect your utility bills:-

  • Meter Read Errors
  • Overlapping bill periods – especially when you move
  • Estimated bills by your supplier
  • Insufficient monthly payments leaving a big deficit
  • Invoice errors in charges
  • No bills – paper or online
  • Scam calls demanding money for telephone re-connections and more

Meter read error
Have you recently received a utility bill that is much higher than usual? Perhaps your meter is not working properly. Each month the energy consumption in your property is typically charged based on readings taken directly from your utility meter. If that reading is not accurate, your bill may be higher than it should be. To avoid such situation, always double check the meter reading!

Overlapping bill periods
If your last and current billing periods overlap, by even two days, you might be charged twice for those days. Call your provider to ask for a refund of those overlapping days.

Wrong supplier’s estimation
Do you pay your bills by direct debit and you have only just realised that your account is in credit? When you use more energy than your supplier estimates, your payment will increase – not necessarily immediately, but when your usage is reviewed by the energy company – and that can be after six months or a year. This results in a hike in your bills to cover the amount you owe and an increase for the months ahead. If however, the actual energy usage was lower than your supplier’s estimation you can apply for a refund. Keep in mind that the consumption is always higher in the winter months.

Invoice calculation error
Mistakes happen. So take a closer look at your bill, add all the numbers. Perhaps the supplier has calculated some rates wrong. To avoid such time-consuming situation, you can use a professional utility service that will take a good care of your bills.

It has been a while since you received a bill
Not receiving a bill, paper or on line, leaves you vulnerable for price hikes, mistakes and more. The direct debit promise your supplier makes should mean that you are notified of how much is taken out of your bank account ten days before the deduction. Having your bill on line leaves the responsibility up to you to check around the same time each month. If however you cannot see what you will be paying, you should contact your supplier to resolve the problem since you are obligated to pay your bills for the energy you use. You can decrease the chance of the utility bill errors by introducing the right management system that will help you to keep on track with your monthly costs. Only this way you can be sure that your bills are managed correctly each month.

Perhaps you have considered a payment plan? Budgeting payments for your energy enables you to pay the same amount each month, spreading the winter central heating cost over the summer months. If you use this system, by the end of June or July you should see your winter usage cleared and you will now move into a credit position ready for next winter. Thus, the warm months of August and September can enable your credit to build up enough “in the kitty” through the cold snap that the winter months can bring.

SCAMS

Another major problem that many customers have faced is scams relating to their utility bills, receiving calls from numbers such as 01476895312 – the advice is to completely ignore their suggestions and put the phone down! The same applies to emails telling you your email account is going to be cancelled.

Threats such as ‘we’re cutting off your BT network” are simply false. This number, if you check on the internet (Who Called Me) you will find a string of complaints and repetitive calls, it is a UK landline number – but this doesn’t mean you need to call back!

If you have had one of those calls where you pick up the phone and no one is on the other end, this is sometimes the way they search for active lines that are not just for broadband but have a telephone connected as well. Your telephone provider may offer solutions for blocking nuisance calls, or have the answer phone screen first.

If you are registered with the Telephone Preference Service, please dial 1471 and obtain the number that just called you. Then please call TPS and let them know. They can take action to prevent more vulnerable people from getting caught and paying out money for “re-connection” to these fraudsters.

Perhaps as a domestic customer, you would like to find out more information regarding other nuisances within the industry? Perhaps you have your own utility problems we haven’t mentioned?

Here at Shrink Our Bills, we can assist you on how to save your money on high bills, pointing you in the right direction of a cheaper outcome. If we could show you a simple online form to complete that would help you to shrink your bills in the U.K – would you be interested?

Call us on our direct lines either 07957811088 or 07971675120. We help both business and domestic customers by looking into any errors, duplication, costs, renewal offers and much more.

Written by Mark Tuxford – Universal Web Design.

If you’re too busy to perhaps write your own blogs on your chosen topic, then my wide range of expert writing can cover any types of business industries as well as sport and lifestyle.

You can contact me at Universal Web Design via my email – mark.tuxford@universalwebdesign.co.uk