Dear Chris, Please can you point me in the right direction?
Basically I've lost my card that I use to top up my prepayment meter, so I was wondering how do I get a new one?
Also what will I do for gas while I am waiting for a new card? I have a five-year old daughter and the house is very cold.
Louise Wilson, via comments, Monday 29 November, 2010
This is not an uncommon problem and all of the “big six” energy suppliers have similar plans in place in the event that you lose your prepayment card.
Most will simply ask you to give them a call and request a new card. They will then send you one through the post.
In the meantime you should have an emergency credit facility on your meter to tide you over.
Here are the separate policies for each of the “big six”:
If a customer loses their card they can call EDF on 0800 015 1733 to request a new one.
However a charge of £7 may apply.
If you are about to run out of gas EDF’s meters have emergency credit for situations like this - or illness for example - which will be deducted from the credit when you next top up the meter.
You will have to call up Scottish and Southern Energy to request a new card, which will be sent through the post.
In extreme circumstances, and depending on where you live in the country, an engineer might be able to come out to your home to deliver the card for you if absolutely necessary.
British Gas said it would advise customers to pick up a new card, free of charge, from any PayPoint outlet in the UK.
After registering this new card in your meter, you can then top up as normal and use this as your own card.
If you call Scottish Power in as soon as you notice that the gas card has been lost the supplier will arrange for another one to be delivered.
If, however, you have already used your £5 of emergency credit, there are selected outlets that stock Scottish gas cards.
If you phone the prepayment customer service team they will be able to identify your nearest outlet, where you can buy a replacement card for £8.
You buy the card then take it home and put it in the meter. This allows the card to register your meter - you then should be able to go back and put money on meter as normal.
However if you are a “vulnerable” customer and cannot afford to buy the card, Scottish Power can arrange a “wind on”. This is a physical visit to your house whereby Scottish Power will put £5.00 on your meter.
You will need to pay this back when you next put money on the card - so it is basically a further emergency credit.
Prepayment customers can buy cards where they top up at PayPoint, PayZone or the Post Office.
The supplier suggests that you give it a call, using the telephone number on their statement.
You will then be notified of your closest store which has cards in stock.
If for whatever reason this is not possible, E.ON would send a replacement card guaranteed for next day delivery if ordered before 3.30pm.
In circumstances where there is vulnerability at a property and the customer is without power E.ON would arrange an emergency appointment for an engineer to visit and put some credit on the meter.
npower also advises that you simply give them a call and they will arrange for you to pick up a new card at a local PayPoint.
So basically the first port of call is to contact your energy supplier, who will let you know what to do, but don’t worry you are unlikely to be left without any gas supply.
If you have an energy question please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org