If the majority of your household bills are set up as Direct Debits, you might not always pay attention to the amount you’re paying. Even if you notice that the amount has gone up recently or seems to be higher than usual one month, it’s possible that you’ll just assume you’re being charged the correct amount.
However, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your regular bills and if you notice that one is much higher than you were expecting it to be, this could be a mistake. It’s important to check these bills every month because if anything seems unusual, the company that charges you might have made an error.
If there’s a mistake
Big companies like your internet or electricity provider bill thousands of people every month, so it’s not impossible that something could go wrong now and then. This is what happened to some British Gas customers recently, when they realised they’d been charged the wrong amounts due to technical problems. This might not be too much of an issue if you notice it quickly but if you don’t check how much you’re being billed for, you could be left out of pocket for months.
When it comes to your energy bills, your provider may be charging you based on an estimated amount so if you think your bill is too high, this could be the reason. Estimated bills are just a ‘guess’ of how much energy your provider thinks you’ll use and sometimes they can be quite different from your actual usage. If this has happened to you, take your own meter reading and submit this to your energy provider. They should be able to update your bill so you’re charged the right amount.
If you think you’ve been charged wrongly by a company other than your energy provider, it’s best to get in touch with them to let them know. They may want to see evidence of why you know the bill is wrong – for example, if you can see you’ve not gone over your mobile phone contract usage but you’ve been charged extra. They might also be able to see if a technical problem has caused the incorrect bill and if they find that they have made a mistake, most companies will update the amount they’re charging you.
Checking your Direct Debits
The best way to ensure that there’s no problem with any of your Direct Debits or other regular bills is to check your statements every month to see what’s going out. The sooner you notice there’s a mistake, the quicker you’ll be able to get any problems sorted out. If you don’t notice for a while and then attempt to contact the company, it might be harder for them to verify it with their records.
Taking a regular look at your Direct Debits and standing orders is a good idea to check who you’re making payments to as well – find out why in our blog.