Pre-Pay service electronic keys?

Hi all,
Daughter recently took on her stepsisters flat when she passed away recently (39) and in the process of cost-cutting, went from British Gas to Bulb as her electricity supplier.
She was sent a new 'key' and yesterday put £20 on it but when she put it in the meter, got an error message:
'Your new key isn't talking to the meter correctly' ;-(
Support isn't open until Monday and she only has £1.60 credit (as of last night) and so is a bit worried about the fridge freezer (she left it that late because it warns when you put in the new key in it will wipe any remaining credit. A lesson learned though might have been to do it during office hours).
So, she's switched off all but the essentials (mainly just the fridge/freezer) and will ring them on Monday and hopefully get it sorted (do some '8 digit TAG code to re-program her key' thing?) but I have no experience of such so wondered if anyone could answer any questions please?
Like, if she got credit put on the key, would the shop get any acknowledgement that it had worked correctly (eg, could they have seen it f-up but taken her 20 quid anyway (she has the receipt))?
If she took it to another place, could they tell her if it has any credit on it or not (proving the key 'works' and there is credit on it)?
How do Bulb get their money? Does the key determine that via the payment terminal?
I don't know that she followed (or saw) their online guide re using a new key (in case it matters):
"How do I start using my Bulb prepayment key or card? How to use your electricity prepayment key Use up all the credit on your meter before you plug in your new key. This is important, otherwise your new key will wipe your existing credit. Plug your Bulb key into the meter and wait for 60 seconds This will register your key. Once that’s done, we’ll be your official supplier of green electricity. Top up at your nearest Paypoint, Payzone or Post Office"
So, are they saying there you *have* to 'register the key' (with the meter presumably) *before* you add credit and try to use it, or is the last sentence just a general guide to the fact you can top these keys up at many places? Should that last line be in the 'how to use your key' guide?
Obviously Bulb c/s should be able to answer some of these questions on Monday but I'd like to find out more in the meantime.
Additionally, is it possible to have more than one key ... so that maybe we could get / have one and help her out now and again?
Cheers, T i m
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Don’t know.
However, my daughter could only get prepayment, (Expensive per unit I believe), until my Brother in law (Who is a reseller Of utilities) was able to get her a credit meter (same p hysical meter I believe).
Whether he could do this for any customer, or just did it as a one of for h er, I don’t know.
Other resellers are available.
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On Sun, 7 Jul 2019 04:45:49 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@o2.co.uk wrote:

Hmm, she and I have discussed this very thing, specifically because of the suggestion that the unit cost was less.

Might it also depend on the landlord?

Understood. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
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wrote:

the LL may tell you that it does
he will be lying
tim
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T i m wrote:

does it cut her off at zero, or have a bit of leeway?

That much credit would run the FF alone for about a week
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wrote:

I understand there was a sort of reserve on a previous solution of about £5 but she's not sure if it's the case atm (and can't find out till Monday).

Understood, but I suggested she still try to avoid all other non-essentials till she can get it resolved. I've said she'll be ok with lights (all LED) and even the router / laptop if needed but her phone / data would be better for now.
Luckily they have gas hot water and hob so can boil water and cook stuff.
It was really more about what might have gone wrong with the key payment system?
Cheers, T i m
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T i m wrote:

Don't suppose many here are used to credit token meters, last time I had one it was 50p's in the gas meter as a student in the mid-eighties.
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wrote:

There may have been some who have had dealings with them, even if not their own?

;-)
The only time I've come across such things is in holiday chalets. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
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wrote:

I wasn't aware of the 20.44p/day standing charge. ;-(
13.587p/kWh.
All sorted now though after Bulb c/s sent her a code that she gave to the PayPoint shop and they re-synched the key. Credit then added to meter with no probs.
That got me thinking about getting her a wireless energy monitor thing, even if only their current usage, rather than anything that would indicate the costs etc?
Cheers, T i m
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On Monday, 8 July 2019 14:01:47 UTC+1, T i m wrote:

Better would be to put the property onto a standard credit tariff.
Apart from anything else it will save the executor accounting for cash to pay for the top-ups.
NB Bulb is "pay in advance" on credit tariffs too.
Owain
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On Mon, 8 Jul 2019 06:13:40 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gowanhill.com wrote:

That was one of my thoughts. ~20p day standing charge and ~13.6p/kWh is that bad?

Ok.

Ok, thanks, I'll get her to look into it.
Cheers, T i m
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On Monday, 8 July 2019 14:38:18 UTC+1, T i m wrote:

Actually no, the key meters are cheaper for the power co to use than the ol d coin or card payment meters, and they're under pressure to be seen to not exploit vulnerable people. Also, electricity tariffs are now capped, so pr epay isn't really any more expensive than most standard variable tariffs.
British Gas standard tariff on direct debit is 18.321p per kWh, 23.523p per day, so you're quite a lot cheaper than that If that's what you're paying on Bulb Prepay. Bulb don't list a prepay tariff on their site. Maybe it's t he same as DD.
The drawback is the credit running out when the property is unoccupied (whi ch I assume a probate property is) and the freezer flooding, etc.
The account should also be in the name of The Executor of... rather than yo ur daughter, as it's the estate that's liable, not your daughter.
Owain
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On Mon, 8 Jul 2019 07:02:05 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gowanhill.com wrote:
<snip> >British Gas standard tariff on direct debit is 18.321p per kWh, 23.523p per day, so you're quite a lot cheaper than that If that's what you're paying on Bulb Prepay.
I understand they are, yes.

Ok.

Understood. Though if it's just the FF on and 20 quid credit, that should last over a month.

I'm not sure where we are with all that. What I do know though is the flat was rented and daughter just took over the rental agreement so that may not be an issue as such.
All the services / BB are now in daughters name and she is now officially at that address. She didn't actually move out of here as such, just stepped up when her sister was diagnosed with cancer and promised to try to do the best for / with her daughter.
Whilst not on a bad wage herself, it's only just enough to cover the main costs but more than means she gets any help at all (apart from child allowance). ;-(
Cheers, T i m
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Why would you leave a freezer in a probate property full of food?
I assure you, it's a real turn off to prospective purchasers
tim
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On Monday, 8 July 2019 17:05:22 UTC+1, tim... wrote:

Because you don't have space in your freezer at home and you're eating it slowly?

It's okay as long as the freezer's still running...
Owain
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but if the house is being left empty
who's there to eat it?

and as long as it obvious to prospective purchasers that it will be emptied
tim
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On Mon, 08 Jul 2019 14:38:19 +0100, T i m wrote:

I'm on 11.93p/kWhr 11.025p/day with Utility Point. She really needs to have a preety good idea of her consumption. If it's low it can be worth looking at the "no standing charge" tariffs (EBICO for one?). You pay a bit more for the energy but can save a lot on the standing charge.
--
Cheers
Dave.
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On Mon, 08 Jul 2019 15:09:44 +0100 (BST), "Dave Liquorice"

Thanks for the feedback Dave, I'll look into it with her.
Cheers, T i m
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T i m wrote:

currently paying Unit rate         12.115p per kWh Standing charge     11.024p per day but fix comes to an end in August.
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wrote:

Thanks for that Andy.
Cheers, T i m
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