I made the mistake of ordering a reconditioned Mac laptop from this company. The laptop arrived, grubby looking and showing signs of wear. More importantly, it didn’t work. It didn’t even turn on. I have emailed their customer service department twice with no response, as the laptop is supposedly ‘under warranty’ – but what good is a ‘warranty’ if they fail to even respond to emails? Come on discountexperts.com do you not know these reviews show up on search engines?
I had a great experience with bulb when I was a customer. But I was absolutely dumbfounded when they handed ‘an outstanding amount’ to a debt collection agency when I moved house, without making any attempt to contact me first.
It turns out there was no amount outstanding – this was 100% bulb’s mistake – as I had provided the final meter readings on the day I moved out (which was the same day the new tenants moved in).
I am disgusted that a company that prides itself on its friendly customer service and jaunty irreverent tone of communication in their marketing should immediately resort to ‘sending in the heavies’ for the paltry sum of £30 without checking their records first, knowing the distress and stress this is likely to cause.
An extremely disappointing experience with a company I held in very high regard – which will, of course, be ruled out as an option as my future energy supplier.
January 22, 2020: Twitter post retweeted a number of times.
January 24, 2020: Still no apology. Disappointment….
…to discover the house I am moving into is currently supplied by bulb energy. I can’t help wondering if they employ a company to monitor their online reputation? If not, I know a great consultant. ONE apology bulb, for f**ck’s sake. Admit it when you slip up.
January 24th pm: Hoorah!
A Reply on Trustpilot
My Original Complaint:
bulb energy's response:
Thanks for you review, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had a negative experience with us and that this caused you undue stress.
The debt collection cycle is automated and I can absolutely assure you that every attempt will have been made to try and contact you by phone and/or email for a number of weeks before any escalation to a debt collection agency.
Without knowing the particulars of your case though, I’m unable to comment as to whether this mistake was at our end or not. If it was then, please let us know by providing your name, address and a little detail on the matter in an email to email@example.com. I’d be most willing to raise a formal complaint for you there, and to work with you towards a resolution proportionate to the scale of the error.
And my email to bulb energy
The address of my supply up until July of this year was xxx xx x x x x x.
28 January 2019 - email from Bulb Energy
Adam M. (Bulb Help)
Jan 28, 17:01 GMT
Thanks so much for getting through to us here. Once again, I wholeheartedly apologise if any debt collection notices have caused you or your family any undue stress.
I’ve had a deep-dive into your account and cannot find any instance of a debt collection notice in your name or tied to your account. Your account closed down on 18/07/19 with a credit balance of £119 which you confirm we refunded back to you shortly after. This brought the account balance to zero so that it could close down definitively.
Your leaving X XXXX XXX XXX on 18/07/19 opens up a blank “occuper account” for the following day. This account sits there ready and waiting to be taken up by whoever replaces you at the address. We have still not heard from whoever replaced you despite receiving notice that this person(s) have switched supply away to another company. And it is for the account that an external debt collection agency was called in – not yours.
We’ll have made several attempts to contact them before escalating this to an external debt collection agency. Most of the time, the new occupant is totally unaware that they inherit the existing supplier at the address. Even if they elected to bring their old supplier with them, there will nearly always be a small overlap where they’re supplied by the incumbent supplier (which would be Bulb in this instance). This may also go some way towards explaining why you received no contact from us directly since this is something we would do a number of times before escalating to an external debt collection agency.
Be that as it may, I cannot emphasise enough that the debt collection notices are not for yourself. Would you be able to confirm whether the notices from the debt collectors LCS were in your name rather than being addressed to “The Occupier”? Could you also kindly confirm whether the notices refer to dates on or after 19th July when you were no longer legally responsible for the energy supply at the address?
Many thanks, please let me know your findings. I really hope this is case of you picking up notices intended for someone else. If it isn’t, I’ll investigate further with the Revenue Assurance Team.
We hope you’re satisfied with this suggestion, but please let us know if you’re not. If we don’t hear back from you within 14 days, we’ll consider the complaint closed.
You can find information regarding our complaints handling process on our website at https://bulb.co.uk/complaints/
If you’d like a second opinion, Citizens Advice (https://www.citizensadvice.
Complete their web form, or call the free consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
28 January 2020, 1811hrs: My Response
I’m delighted to say the issue with Bulb has been sorted. Without boring you with the many emails that went back and forth between Adam and I, it was established that the debt belongs to the new occupants, and Bulb Energy apologised for their mistake, with a goodwill payment of £30.
It was an unfortunate incident all round, with my family unduly distressed that debt collectors would be knocking at their door, the potential impact on my credit rating, and the subsequent raging emails that poor Adam had to endure as a result of their mistake.
I can honestly say we’re all glad that the incident is brought to a close, but whether the incident has made an impact on my credit rating is not something my credit assessing provider is able to tell me.
In my last article, I looked at the picture taking and editing abilities of the new iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.
Many amateur and professional filmmakers are excited about the arrival of the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, and with the combination of the three lenses, the fast and powerful processor and a selection of new filming and editing apps, the new models are likely to make a genuine impact on how films are made and edited. There is already a list of films made entirely on the iPhone, and this looks set to increase.
This article will look at the capabilities of the native iOS camera, compared to the leading film making app, Filmic Pro, and also compare the native editing app iMovie with one of the leading paid-for alternatives, Lumafusion.
I was also keen to compare the inbuilt iPhone microphones with those aimed at professional filmmakers, so have reviewed the RØDE i-XY Lightning Stereo Microphone for iPhone and iPad, as well as the Sennheiser MKE 2 omni-directional clip-on lavalier microphone.
Starting with the native iOS cameras, the quality of the footage – as you would expect – is excellent. The only bugbear could be regarded as the occasional ‘jolt’ as the iPhone switches filming from one lens to another. This is evident in the following clip, but as you can see, I was zooming in and out incredibly fast – at a speed unlikely to come into play in everyday use.
That said, the inbuilt iOS video has a lot to be said to for it. The automatic video stabilisation is incredible, and the ability to add ‘soundtracks’ which are included in the iMovie app, which can not only match the pitch and theme of your video, but also automatically cut off at the end of your clip is a massive bonus. Gone are the days of having clips removed from YouTube or Facebook for potential copyright infringement. An example of one such soundtrack has been added to the video below, again shot on the native iOS cameras.
And the native iOS video is no slouch when it comes to speed. The next video shows a more realistic demonstration of the phone’s ability to switch between lenses – this time at a more realistic rate. Again, using one of the iPhone’s included ‘soundtracks’, what better way to test a camera’s speed ability than a loony bull terrier running around with a bottle?!
The next video also demonstrates the incredible stabilisation of the native video app, along with the inbuilt microphone.
And one final demonstration of audio recorded, this time with me speaking from behind the camera. Perhaps a demonstration that, for vloggers, for example, an external microphone might not be essential.
It should be obvious that I’m a big fan of the iOS video capabilities. But there are certain limitations if you are professional film maker, such as the level of manual control you have over what is being filmed. This is why I was happy to buy Filmic Pro, a highly respected filmmakers app. The pitch for the app is as follows: “FiLMiC Pro v6 is the most advanced video camera for mobile. Ever. FiLMiC Pro has been enhanced with cutting-edge capabilities and the most responsive manual camera interface available…Used in more high profile video projects than any other video app.” You may remember top bods from Filmic Pro teaming up with the Apple big cheeses to blow their trumpets in unison about the video ability of the new devices at the September Apple event announcing the new phones:
However, judging by one or two scathing reviews, it should be pointed out that what could be argued as the ‘main feature’ – namely the ability to shoot with all four cameras and record four live feeds – is not available on the current version, and there is speculation (that could be completely unfounded) that Filmic Pro may charge for this feature to be added when it does become available. This video is also worth watching for some observations about the use of the iPhone Pro lenses.
Nonetheless, let’s take a closer look. Here is the quick start guide to Filmic Pro, and the full user guide if you’d like to take a more in-depth look. And here, recorded on my iPhone, is how the Filmic Pro interface looks whilst in operation. As you see, I clicked on each of the menu items to give you an idea of what is available from within the app right now.
Music for the above video provided by the very talented Josh Woodward.
And so on to external microphones you might like to consider for your professional grade film making. The first is the Sennheiser MKE Digital clip-on mike, which comes with a wind shield for outdoor interviewing.
The pitch for the microphone is as follows: ‘The MKE 2 digital is a professional solution for mobile recording. Whether videos, recording or interviews: With its wide range of applications, the MKE 2 plug-in microphone is already regarded as a legend for large- and small-scale productions. While delivering top-quality musical images for speech and song, its tandem membrane provides it with a high degree of robustness against all environmental influences. The condenser microphone is connected via Lightning to modern iOS devices – allowing the jack socket to remain free for monitoring headphones as needed. An external converter from the Apogee high-end forge undertakes the digital signal conversion. With 96 kHz and 24 bit, the signal surpasses any CD quality available.’ And here’s a short video about the mic:
With only Tilly the bull terrier in the house, my choices of interviewee were slightly restricted – short of going next-door to interview Derek about the waterproofing he uses to prevent moss growing on his roof, so I made a short video of my Apple Watch using the microphone instead (using Filmic Pro):
The second microphone I put to the test is the RØDE i-XY Lightning Stereo Microphone. Attaching straight into the iPhone’s Lightning connector, the microphone is excellent at picking up all ambient sound, in stereo. As you can see, it comes with a wind shield, along with a number of ‘clamps’ with which to attach it to your iPhone or iPad.
Here is a video to demonstrate the microphones’s stereo capabalities:
If you’re looking for excellent on-device editing, look no further than Lumafusion. Again, not cheap, at £28.99, but Lumafusion is a great match for Filmic Pro, offering many more features than the native iMovie.
You’ll find great advice on all aspects of Lumofusion editing and excellent guides at Primal Video.
Finally, what film maker is complete without a decent gimbal? And this one is so new that it’s just left Kickstarter mode to go into full production.
The Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 is quite simply the smallest gimbal soon-to-be-on-the-market. With an acclaimed track record in the quality manufacture of gimbals, the Smooth Q2 has caused a genuine stir in the market, and has received nothing but glowing reviews when put alongside its competition.
Check out out a few:
Update: 6th November 2019: My Zhiyun Smooth -Q2 gimbal has now arrived, and it’s very impressive indeed. I haven’t had the opportunity to test every feature, and I look forward to watching the vast array of customer experience and tutorial videos already on YouTube. There’s obviously plenty to learn, and I’m looking forward to exploring every feature.
And it is these ‘added features’ that make the gimbal a worthwhile investment for the semi-professional filmmaker (along with the fact that it really does fit comfortably into a pocket), because as has been demonstrated, the inbuilt stabilisation of the iPhone 11 Pro Max is already mind-blowingly good.
And I must admit, if I hadn’t have snaffled one at the bargain basement price on Kickstarter, I may have thought twice about coughing up the full RRP which it is now on sale at on Amazon and similar sites.
Nonetheless, below is my very first effort using the gimbal at it’s most basic level. Don’t expect anything too exciting. It’s a dog walk in our local wood, not The Silence of the Lambs.
The only other kit to mention that will be of interest to the iPhone film maker is the anamorphic lens. Anamorphic lenses provide a means to capture a 2.39:1 ratio without having to make that sacrifice in resolution, adding a unique cinematic look to your iPhone videos.
There are three main players in the market for producing quality anamorphic lenses – Moondog Labs, Sandmarc and Moment (there are also a few versions available on eBay, which have received mixed reviews).
All of the manufacturers are falling over themselves to produce the first anamorphic lenses that will fit the unique lens configuration of the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max lenses, and Sandmarc look to be the first off the mark, indicating that the first iPhone 11 Pro anamorphic lenses will be available to ship at the end of October.
Here is Sandmarc’s introduction to filming with an anamorphic lens:
In a future post, I’ll be looking at some of the hidden features of the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max.