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thespiceman Community member Posts: 6,379 Disability Gamechanger
Hello good morning every one. Hope every body is keeping safe and warm.

Seems now yesterday for some or today.  Thinking of you all.

In my thoughts and prayers.

I have an on line Utility company Shell.  Got Email decided last year signed two year fixed deal no prices rises till 2021.

Marvellous, guess what now received notification price rises.

Sorry you can not do that, major mistake why offer fixed prices then move the goal posts.

I noticed this lately , cold weather lets put the prices up.

Sorry I am off new company. Complaining use too much heating sorry I do not.

On a cold day need to be warm, is that an issue or a problem.

Told on line advisor turn it all off and then will not pay, be dead.

Did you know this what they do.  Buy gas, electric wholesale in the start of the year, then if prices of wholesale go up then need to cover costs.

WHICH magazine I recommend mentions the big gripes are this.

Prices rises, customer services bad bills estimates wrong. Deceiving customers.

Apparently many times said this the price I pay.  In reality in massive debt so hold you to account.

Only industry I have to pay for something never used yet as I explained several times.

Should be thirty days after then get bill debit from account, not an estimate a guess.

I am not a fan of smart meters either my kitchen halve of it going to be removed, another valid point. Please no thank you was a fan at first but not working it is to pass costs on to consumer.

Is that going to make a difference heard stories and some do recognise might be useful others not.

See OFWAT this morning announced schemes plans to stop the companies shut you down deny you to leave because of exit fees.

This company £50 per utility I argue on line sorry no, but this time vote and leave.

My plan would be those on benefits limited amounts and those of our community.

Interesting chat last time with a lad from the Netherlands left to go back to his own country.

Shaking his head how we as consumers in this country get shafted, walked over and ripped off by companies.

As in a lot of European countries many have community scheme buy there own gas and electric moderate there own prices.

Energy so important a discussion so many times we need evaluations of the way we do business.

This Government so wrapped up in BREXIT forgetting major issues like this.

WHICH has announced a list of companies that are the best.

Octopus the top one, mine one have now 26, was 7 last year.

Just a fed of it does not help the health issues and mental health and even had a warm front grant what is the point.  If you increased prices.

Had my fair share of experiences. Join we all do after a while prices increase one company deceived me announced this amount in reality £200 in debt.

Which I paid but spoke out. Not good.

Please every one not sure not happy leave. Been with a company once for six months increased prices left.

Thank you all for reading.


Community Champion
SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.


  • Seanchai
    Seanchai Community member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    I have been with "Bulb" for two years now , they beat the rest hands down , have a look see ."Go compare" Their customer service is second to none and there is no leaving fee . 
    If you do decide to use bulb then save £50 by using my link to them ( I also get £50  for giving you the nod ) ..just e mail me or private message me for link .

  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Community member Posts: 6,379 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2020
    Hello @Seanchai   Thank you much appreciated my friend very kind of you.

     Have actually signed up to Octopus .

    WHICH says best of the best, so no arguing there.

    Shell the previous Utility I had or still have were no 7 now 26 proves a lot does it not.

    Octopus offered me the same link so something to consider.

    Thank you once again my friend means a lot.

    Hope I can do the same well if I can , just found the new freezer safe wait for it non stain containers hurrah.

    Got a hundred bought.  We have all done it buy the plastic containers.

    Oil then all to prevent staining Sauce any Tomato one, a pain if you using a lot like me.

    Stocks sauces, vegetables, beans pulses in Tomato sauces a big time saver.

    Hope that helps you.

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • Seanchai
    Seanchai Community member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    Hi Spiceman , I hope you are well my friend . 
    I also hope the power company you went with keep up the good prices . I noticed that in some areas they are getting a co-op to buy power directly and it seems to be a lot cheaper . My sons jumped from £110 to £140  a month ( of course we all use more power in the winter months but that is normally evened out by the summer months when we use less power.)  He tried " Bulb" and they got his charges down to £90 a month it's only right you should keep an eye on these things . my power is around £82 pounds a month with bulb and I have been with them a couple of year now and tyeir customer service is first class , they send a reminder every three months that if you want to send in your meter readings then they will keep your monthly payment updated . I read somewhere that many people just stick with the same company just for the sake of it .....a bit daft when lower prices are available . I was with hydro electric up until a couple of years ago . They sent me a cheque back at the end of each year if I had paid to much . I received a cheque for £76 for overpaying my electricity and £103 for over paying my gas ....that was fine ( I was paying Just over £90 a month for gas and electricity....but the following week my power Bill's went up to £139 a month ??. I said they must have made a mistake as they even sent me money back the week before as I had paid to much .... but no ...they said it was because they had to pay for power up front and the cost was being split between their customers .....hahahaha ....they must have thought I was daft but I told them there and then that I would be leaving them ...." Bulb" offered me my power for just over £80 a month ( three bedroom end terrace house ) . I also read that people on certain benefits should get the " warm house " scheme ....bulb asked me if I wanted to apply for it and I said I would ....that's was £140 a year I got ( many people do not even apply for this money from their supplier ) , then they gave me another £50 as my son joined them as well ??
    I got a bag of Joseph and Joseph containers from  a local auction house ( John Pye ) they might have an auction house near you . I got a bag of these containers for a tenner ( they are about six or seven pounds each to but online) . These are ideal as they have a settable day and month on the top of them . so I know when I put them in the freezer ?? The auction house sells a load of various things including pots and pans and pressure cookers and soup makers ect. ect. 
    I have got a few really good bargains out of that place ??...its mostly end of line stuff and returns to companies like John Lewis ect. ...
    Keep up your good work on 'Scope' Spiceman ....I,m sure many members try your various recipes...I certainly do . May I ask 'are you a trained Chef' ? Your recipes are certainly very tasty indeed ...Thank you ??

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello my friend @thespiceman,

    Ahh Octopus energy, yes I’m with them after moving from SSE last May. I must admit I’m more than impressed with the so far. Extremely cheap energy bills and I’m not the sort of person that doesn’t put my heating on either. I have mine on for 16 hours a day 7 days a week during the winter. Like yourself, I can’t be cold. Just had my months gas bill £40. I also have a tumble drier, can’t have that washing covering my lovely warm radiators. My electric bill for the month was £50. 

    Just received a refund of £134. Another refund received just before Christmas of £200.

    Are they part of the warm home discount? Yes they certainly are. They joined for the first time this year. They sent me an email in December inviting me to apply, which I did. 3 days later my account was credited with £140.

    Dont like to use the phone? No problem, just send them an email and they will reply within 24 hours. 

    Fantastic energy company and I can definitely understand why they have been voted number 1. 

    Scored out of ten? 10/10 from me.

    Im sure you won’t be disappointed. ?

    Take Care my friend. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Bettahm
    Bettahm Community member Posts: 1,446 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm also with Octopus after Poppys recommendation last year, so not been with them long but they are easy to deal with. Not like old elec company who harassed me so hard for a two hundred and something debt last winter that they made me ill. My octopus account is all online, no bills thru the post, or phone calls. Very pleased with them. And I'm already in credit with them.
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Community member Posts: 6,379 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2020
    Hello @Seanchai    Thank you for my friend good evening to you.

    Interesting story at the moment the Government have opened the doors to the Companies who wish to sell Gas and Electric with out making sure there are genuine.

    OFWAT supposed to verify Companies unfortunately many are much more than sales companies no customer service offer a deal but in fact cheat deceive the customer.

    In the last year or so many have shut down inadequate and badly run companies. Been taken over by other companies doing well.

    This company I had been with was First Utility seven in the list created by WHICH, 26 now.

    Taken over by Shell misinformation on fixed deals my big grief.

    Octopus Energy have taken over Coop Energy a few others.

    Supermarkets have been all bought out by other energy suppliers.  The incentives being a member of a company giving you vouchers discounts.

    Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer not around now. Coop had its one time the good deals but bought by Octopus.

    I had and do meet others from European countries living here

    Several times mentioned the energy and the whole marketing of it a major factor as too expensive to maintain.

    I believe in Netherlands you join a co operative market your own prices and purchase energy that sort of way, any excess given back to the company.

    Also a lot different environmental green issues a major contribution to the energy market are widespread in Europe we lost our way.

    Something wrong in this country members of our community and others are dying from cold inadequate heating and costs.

    Fuel poverty a big issue I had this myself seriously makes you look at everything.

    Question arise in your mind constantly why we costing lives and harming people a simple solution to heat homes but costing too much.

    Most I ever paid the biggest con system the card prepaid meter.

    I had one in one property cost me £110 a week ongoing, used to literally go to bed with coats, gloves and scarf.

    All you do is so simple put money a certain amount on a card or a key.  What they do not tell you the previous tenant has conned the system used the system to get in debt.

    No one checked so muggins here moved in a ended up paying a £1500 debt left by this idiot,

    The previous tenant, the housing association denying everything.

    Imagine this £1500 on a machine you put the card in gobbles the lot, until then all power went off.

    Anything you put on.

    Had no baths water heat or fuel or anything,  sat outside a reception desk.

    Only saviour came from a member of staff at Council offices used to know me helped.

    We actually got a printout of the amount owned was over £2000 , I had paid around £500 of that.

    I actually found this idiot tenant his name not a common one as had his letters from previous occupation.  Found him and in TESCO had a spat.

    In front of his partner sponging off her as well. Homeless and no relationship by the end of the session, shocked stunned every one.

    I went to the Council Offices who ran the housing association to get them to sort this out.

    I had it removed at a cost but wonder how many people were like me, vulnerable, disabled and penniless.

    What hurt even more the Council refused to come out to service the heating system unless I paid a charge each time.

    Not good.

    Left area 18 months later.  A poignant tale.

    Thank you for the comments recipes, glad you are enjoying them, please adapt them to suit your tastes.

    No I am not a chef wanted to be, unfortunately the Eighties no one wished to employ those like me.

    Only places employed me as I volunteered were Italian Restaurants, Trattorias.   As washing up and some food preparation lovely friendly kind people. Many came to this country Fifties poor and opened  amazing places.

    You learn a lot.  Willing to be interested help you understand and are supportive, got paid a little bit as well.

    Then volunteering kitchens and in charities. Many charities have a lunch time service where members of the public can have a lunch.

    Salvation Army, Mencap. many others do this.  Something to contribute to the wellbeing of the Community, charges a around couple of pounds then for three course meal.

    Learn bout kitchen tips, tricks short cuts allowed me to put on Italian meals for numbers.

    Got noticed by several clientele who had lunch, started working at venues outside catering.  Huge big covers me and a brigade did 150 covers up to 1000 to 2000 for awards events, and that is a lot of meals.

    You work in pairs. Exhausting tiring we all of us disabled or had mental illness.  Good experience still shiver at the thought of how did we do that.

    Worth while learn about presentation  style and the use of few ingredients to make a meal.  Cleanliness  and tidiness being smart savvy in the kitchens.  Time a factor to prep food.

    Had hygiene certificate and started making lunches for these members of our community. Sometimes this being the main meal of the day.

    At mental health charities all over the North East and in to other areas, Cumbria North Yorkshire,  met a few celebrities and those who are we know were known as infamous for there actions.

    Started off great every one kind and appreciative.  The problems began with some of the group members insisting, complaining bullying making fun of anything I cooked.

    There were not of the ages I had worked with before, insulting some of them.  Forced out and resigned there loss.

    After addiction had a knowledge of diet, nutrition and used that to gain qualifications in Understanding Health Part 2 plus food science and other qualifications some minor useful though.

    Just a useful experience .  Knowledge information ongoing as it always does.

    Hope if you need to ask anything please let me know happy to help.

    Please take care.


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Community member Posts: 6,379 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @poppy123456   Good evening my friend thank you for the information.

    I am as do get confused and muddled mixed up.  Read the all the information they gave me, so hopefully be great.

    If I have any problems contact them.

    Just grateful for every one giving me reassurance, know can not afford prices.  

    Do like the on line advisors fantastic if they are good, some are not.

    Know what to say, use Email I do this, know better anxiety easing can not use the phone much.

    Thank you my friend .  Glad your my friend and a massive part of my life.

    Please take care.


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • Seanchai
    Seanchai Community member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    Yes indeed , I have heard of a few people getting "ripped off" by power companies . We have to be wary of who we give our cash to . 
    This opening of any companies being allowed to sell power is a right scoop for the rich and once again it's the poor that end up paying the price .
    The EU had rules and regulations on such things . The EU also wanted to know know all members of the European parliament " other " income . This did not suit many Tories so they wanted out of Europe as many had overseas businesses and paying no tax on them ...and they are quite happy that they are not having to divulge their other earnings. Leaving the EU was not for the benefit of the ordinary people. The EU were also asking questions of our government as to why the state pension in the UK was the lowest in Europe and why disabled people in the UK got so little in benefits.  
    Another big con that the ordinary people have fallen for ....its us who will pay for it.
    Yep we have quite a few Italians move into our local town after the war , many started cafes and ice cream sellers . Some have handed their business down to their children and still being run today by the same family that started them . Yep, keep up the lovely recipes my friend  , I enjoy adding bits and pieces and leaving other stuff out to suit our likes and dislikes.?
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