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Like most Dutch people, we pay for our utility bills up front. The utility company estimates how much it should be and divides it into twelve monthly payments. They generally check if the amount is correct only once a year. We found out today that we've been paying almost three times the amount we should have been paying since we moved in in June. All that time, that money wasn't available to us and they have been gathering interest on it.

I wish I could say this was a freak occurrence, but this has been true for every house we've ever moved into. Sometimes it's only a couple of tenners, but it's always higher than what we end up using. I don't know if they're expecting us to crank up the heat so we can walk around in swim gear or something, but it was as bad as we've seen this time. We looked into lowering the amount, but they wouldn't go further than 10%. They also stipulated that you can get no financial consideration/help whatsoever for the rest of the year if you lower the amount. That's even if your financial situation changes completely but your usage is as you estimated yourself.

It's good that we can pay off some things with this lump sum, but they would have been paid off ages ago if we'd had the money...

Date: 2011-02-04 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's standard operating procedure for these companies, I'm afraid. They can get away with it, so they do it. Do some calculating yourself and lower the amount anyway. You don't need the financial consideration.

Date: 2011-02-04 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It will be much lower from now on, so no problem there. The problem was, they furthest they would lower the monthly advance before now was 10%. Just not worth the risk (however small) that if we still had to pay extra we would not be able to break that up into monthly payments.

Date: 2011-02-05 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's annoying power companies can do that, but at least you got the money back. I remember that once a power company used it to pay future power bills and I wasn't charged for two months. :S
(deleted comment)

Date: 2011-02-10 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Inderdaad Eneco. Nu is het aangepast, dus dan is het ook verder goed. We wilden alleen niet het risico lopen dat we allebei zonder inkomen kwamen te zitten en dat we dan geen betalingsregeling kunnen krijgen omdat we een paar tientjes minder wilden betalen. Dus hebben we het toch maar uitgezeten tot de jaarafrekening.

Date: 2011-02-12 09:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ylvao is me voor.

Ik had het zelfde met Dong, veel te hoog ingeschat en toen ik door bleef drammen mocht het echt wel meer dan 10% naar beneden :)
Tis niet altijd leuk dat je door moet drammen op zo'n moment, maar het helpt dus wel :)


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