Six Services on One Bill – How Does it All Work?
Our One Bill – proudly providing something no one has before
Our billing engine is something that we are very proud of. It makes us unique in the busy world of Utilities and Telecoms and it makes your life easier. As no one else does it, you’re likely to wonder how it works. Here it is in a nutshell.
How the One Bill works
Each product we supply, apart from telecoms, has a Licensed Provider. All those Licensed Providers form part of the Verastar Group and together supply water, green electricity, gas, phone lines, broadband, mobile and insurance through our sister company, the Insurance Octopus. Since 1998 we have been refining our offering so we can offer our customers the widest range of services on the market.
We then went one step further and developed the One Bill. Not only does this mean you only have one provider to deal with, you only have one invoice for all monthly services to manage. The One Bill is issued by Verastar Ltd, which is the billing agent for all the Licensed Providers. That means you only have to pay one entity for all of your services. Verastar Ltd has a number of trading names: Unicom, kinex and Clear Business.
We’ve developed unique technology in-house that draws information from all of our industries, and usage information from you, to combine it into one easy-to-manage bill.
The end product is the result of 1000s of processes!
How billing works
We bill monthly. You will either be paying for the essential services you are using this month or that you used during the month that has just gone.
We usually generate your bill around the 10th of the month and send this to you via email or in the post, depending on what you opted for when you signed up. (If you would like to change the way you receive your bills at any time, just call our Customer Service Team.)
We will then collect your Direct Debit for the amount highlighted on your bill shortly after your invoice date.
What to expect on your bill
We’ve put together a summary of what you can expect on your bill. For a detailed guide on how the One Bill works, check out our blog here.
On the first page of your bill, you will find your key account information. The most important parts you’ll need to familiarise yourself with are:
- Customer Service number – We are here for you! Our team is available Monday to Friday 9am-6pm on the number at the top of your bill (0161 946 4444).
- Your Customer Ref. No – This is your account number which we will ask you for whenever you contact us.
- Total to pay – This is the amount we will be collecting via Direct Debit. It may include any balance brought forward, in addition to your new charges.
Charges on your bill
For a bit more information on the different charges you will see on your bill, please select from the services below:
Charges are either:
- In month – you pay for the services you are using in the month you are in.
- In arrears – you pay for the service that you used during the month that has just ended.
Line Rental – this is charged on a monthly basis for the month you’re in (in month). Even if you don’t use your phone for calls, you still need to pay line rental.
Call charges – these will be charged a month in arrears. This means you pay next month for your usage this month. You might be charged for your individual calls or a bundle, depending on what you chose when you signed up.
Extra features – any features you have added to your Phone Lines service are also charged in arrears. These include: Call Divert, 3-Way Calling, Choose to Refuse, Call Waiting and more. (Speak to our team to find out the full range).
Line rental – your line rental is likely to be covered by your Phone Line rental, as most customers take both from the same provider. If not, this will be charged in month as above.
Charges – The charge for your Broadband package will be billed in arrears. Any extra charges, for example going over your usage limit, will also be billed the following month.
Please note: If you join mid-way through the month, you may be charged a month and a half’s worth of line rental to bring you in line with our billing cycle.
Handsets – If you have bought a handset from us and have chosen to pay for some of it upfront, that charge will appear on your first invoice. Any remaining charges will be billed monthly in advance over the 2 year contract. After 2 years you will have paid off the handset, these charges will stop and the handset is yours to keep.
Data, call and text bundles – The charge for your unlimited calls and text and any additional data bundle will be charged in month. The amount will depend on the package that you chose. If you have incurred any out of bundle charges, these will be charged in arrears.
Bill limit – At the point of sale you will have been asked if you’d like to set a bill cap. If you’ve chosen to apply a bill limit, we will let you know if you are approaching your limit and give you options so that you can continue to use your phone.
Gas and Green Electricity are billed as standard on a monthly basis, which means you pay for the amount of Energy you used in the past 4 weeks or an estimate of usage if we don’t have a valid meter read for you.
To receive accurate bills and only pay for the Energy you used, we ask that you submit meter reads on a monthly basis.
Start/End Read – these numbers show your meter read at the start of the month and at the end of the month. If it has an E after it, we are estimating your bills so you should give us a meter read to make sure you’re not paying too much.
Units – the amount of Electricity you used in the month.
Standing charge – the daily charge for your Electricity supply
Rate – the price you agreed when switching.
Gas charges appear on your bill in a very similar way to the above.
Previous/Present – the same as your Start/End read.
kWh – the units of Gas you have used. Some information on how we calculate your kWh consumption is included on your bill.
Most businesses have to pay water, sewerage and drainage charges. On your bill you will see the charges broken down in the following ways:
Water Fixed Charges – this is a standing charge you pay every day for your water services. The total is calculated by the Rate and the number of days in the billing period.
Water Volumetric Charges – this is for the amount of Units used, the Rate that is charged for each Unit and the overall charge (Units x Charge).
Waste Fixed Charges and Waste Volumetric Charges work in the same way as above.
Drainage Charges are Standing Charges with a set Rate, multiplied by the number of days in the period.
How the amount of Water you are charged for is calculated will differ if you are in Scotland or England. Visit here for a more detailed explanation.