Most of the letters we get from BT and other phone providers tell us that we owe them money but I got a great letter from BT the other day telling me that my account was several hundred pound in credit. How can I be so badly organised to allow me to pay BT so much more than I was spending? A combination of some new equipment and working from home pushed my bill, and hence my direct debit, up in the short term and then I suppose I forgot about it with the hustle and bustle of everyday life!
The best bit, however, was the first sentence in the letter.
“You don’t need to do anything”
And it was in bold in case there was any doubt. To be fair it did go on to say that BT was going to give me a three month payment holiday and then reduce my direct debit.
Notwithstanding their kind offer I thought I did have to do something. So I did.
I called them and asked them for my money back. And they said “Yes sir, no problem”
So even although the letter was telling me to do nothing, and to do nothing is what they would have preferred since it meant that they could keep my money for a while longer, I felt that I did have to do something.
I had to call them and tell them it was my money and I wanted it back. And do you know what? They gave me it all back, straight into my bank account. No questions asked.
And that is what you need to do as well. There are lots of reasons why you build up credit with utility companies – seasonal changes in usage, more family members living at home and working from home are three of the more common. If any of these changes cause you to build up a credit with the utility company then call them and ask for your cash back.
It’s your money after all.