Don’t Pay? What you need to know

Heard of the Don’t Pay Campaign? Here is our advice. 

Our team at Citizens Advice Bucks are aware of the ‘Don’t Pay’ social media campaign.  We have had some people ask us what we think about it. Read on to find out more. 

What is the ‘Don’t Pay’ Campaign  

It is a call to stop paying your bills when energy bills rise again on the 1st October. It is meant to pressure energy companies to stop hiking up energy bill costs. 

The campaign wants as many as possible to say they will not pay their bill in order to hurt the energy companies.  

With the prices of energy getting higher, many are feeling very worried. People are also feeling angry. Everyone has had enough, and this idea may feel like a way to change this.  

dont pay

What will happen if I don’t pay? 

First of all, if you cancel a direct debit, you might be charged an extra fee. You can check on your energy company’s website what this might be. You may also be moved over to a payment meter.   Often these tend to be more expensive.  

Secondly there is the fact you have not paid.  This means you will build up money which you will owe to your energy company. They can take action against you.  This again might include moving you to a prepayment meter (which again costs more) or even cutting your energy off. 

There are clear rules the supplier must follow before taking such action. They cannot move you to a top-up meter if it is not safe or practical. For example if you have an illness or disability that means you would be at risk without power.  

The supplier must also make sure they give you notice.  They must give you time to pay any debts and offer you other options to a top up meter. 

Remember that building up debt can make your credit rating worse.  This in turn may stop you from being able to borrow money in the future.   

So what can I do?  

We see people every day who are facing tough choices because they can’t afford bills. We know people may feel like they can’t do anything. There is other action you can take.  

Contact your supplier 

If you are worried about paying your bills you can contact the supplier and let them know this. They have to help you with a solution.  You can try to ask for a deal that works for both of you. This might be reducing your payments in line with what you can afford or finding a way to pay off any debts you have with them.  

We often find that clients who try this are happy with how talking goes, so do give it a go. If you find it hard to call, we can help you ring them.  

We do have a long waiting time on our phoneline at the moment. If you send us an email we can call you back. This will help keep our phoneline free for those in emergencies.  

Something else you could do is sign up for our Money Matters course. It is free and you can find out and learn a lot of tip and tricks to help you with your finances.  We also offer energy advice so you can always get in touch with us. 

Also follow us on Facebook as we put up the latest advice and money saving tips.  We will always do our best to help you find a way forward. 

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