It’s been a hectic morning running around; once we settle into the rhythm of the day and breakfast is served, for my sins I give BBC News a chance to provide the headlines. They have a curious, mild obsession with energy prices and switching which appears to be on loop in their business section. I can’t work out if they have under the counter agreements with Martin Lewis or affiliations with some major suppliers, but they seem to regularly manage to whip themselves into a frenzy.
The Energy Segment is normally combined with an industry expert barking from a remote link that more people are switching than ever and prices are a fair reflection on the industry. This morning the discussion revolved around OFGEM raising the cap on energy tariffs only ONE MONTH after it was brought in. The cap was introduced to a fanfare of fairness and consistency for all on our energy bills, so this U-turn is truly incredible. The expert predictably explains why it is necessary (it never makes sense) and then suggests that customers are savvy and they can switch to get a better deal. It’s bizarre that the OFGEM representative is now blaming wholesale costs as this was always the mantra of the energy industry!
Anyone on a standard variable tariff could well find themselves £117 per year worse off from April.
The facts are that people aren’t really switching. There are still 11 million people on standard variable tariffs in the UK and only a 2% rise year on year in customers actively making the change. The thing is it’s such a shame to think that the only way to keep prices down is to go through a regular process of shopping around, comparing tariffs and making the switch.
Constant switching damages customer loyalty. It also results in various horrific examples of bad service, bad administration, exit fees, apathetic bosses and employees that don’t care because they know that for every customer lost, there will be another coming in through the revolving door. I’m sure that all most people want is to pay the going rate for what they use with a bit of help and support if things aren’t quite right.
Is FAIR prices for new AND existing customers WITH great service too much to ask?
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