Yearly energy switch farce

Discussion in 'Home energy' started by mugsymugsy, 6 Nov 2018.

  1. mugsymugsy

    mugsymugsy Frequent Poster


    Just been through the years dance between energy companies.
    Checked for lowest rates per unit for gas and electricity - factored in rebates etc.
    Ideally didn't want to move less hassle etc however they refused to offer me the new customer rates. So I give them a final chance and no deal so off I go.
    I don't understand why they don't give the deals to people as the cost / hassle of me going through with them today and now spending time to clear up account etc
    I do understand the logic of rolling the person off the yearly discount and if they don't get it contact they pay higher rates but this process of not giving me the new rates doesn't make sense (they did offer me cheaper than higher rates just not as good as new customers!)
    Sorry for the rant but I guess I'll be back in a year checking rates again.
    jpd likes this.
  2. gnf_ireland

    gnf_ireland Frequent Poster

    I understand what you are saying and go through the same charade each year as well. Thankfully it is a pretty straight forward switch, and I tend to do it on Black Friday each year so I remember when the time comes around :)

    Two years ago, I think it was Energia rang me to ask me why I was switching away from them. I told them the 1 year discount had expired (approximately 17%) and I knew the best they would offer me was around 7%. The call to them would take me longer that it would to switch, so it was easier, less hassle, less frustration and financially better off to switch rather than wait 10 minutes for a call centre agent to answer the phone, go through their usual waffle and then offer me 7%. I told them if they were in a position to offer me >15% indefinitely, I would not switch from them. Obviously they could not - so we left it that if they were the cheapest rates in 12 months time I would switch back again. I basically said their product is a wholesale commodity and would chase the cheapest price for that commodity annually, until it was not worth my while to do so.

    The simple answer to your question is the whole sign-up process is automated, so very little cost to the utility company, with very few human steps involved. They have profiled their customer base and they know only x% will switch after 12 months, y% after 24 and z% after a price increase etc. They can only offer 7% discount each year across the base, so the ones who do not switch subsidize those that do.
    So why not offer those who contact the higher discount - because more would do it in that case and their headline discount would reduce. They obviously feel only a certain number would switch and a reasonable portion are only chancing their arm.

    From my personal view, I think once you have called the utility company you are already on the back foot. Why waste 20 minutes on the call to them when you could have switched in that time. If you were serious about switching, you would just have done it.
    trasneoir and mugsymugsy like this.
  3. mugsymugsy

    mugsymugsy Frequent Poster

    Great post. Noted for future just go straight to new company and not bother calling existing. Can't wait to have the farce with Vodafone next month. If they can just leave me on the broadband and phonr deal I have been on the last 12 months then that would wonderful
  4. Monbretia

    Monbretia Frequent Poster

    Last edited: 6 Nov 2018
    I had a call from Vodafone today offering mr super duper broadband speed especially for me :) I had been chosen for a special discount! yeh right. Anyway it would cost me 25 a month for 6 months then 50 thereafter. I pay 45 at the moment. Thing is I am perfectly happy with the speed I have, I don't watch films or play games or anything that might need speed. Looking up AAM and a few emails doesn't take a lot so I declined his kind offer.
    Last edited: 6 Nov 2018
    mugsymugsy likes this.
  5. qwerty5

    qwerty5 Frequent Poster

    Bord Gais ring when you're getting close to the end of your contract.

    I can't remember what they offered me. It was something like €70 of one of my bills 4000 club card points and a continuation of the monthly discount.

    I thought it was quite proactive. I have a history of switching so maybe I'm on a list. Prior to the call I had a reminder set up in my calendar to shop around
    mugsymugsy likes this.
  6. shweeney

    shweeney Frequent Poster

    I had nothing but billing problems when I was with BGE - they never correctly applied the discounts, their bills were deliberately designed to make it difficult to see what you were being charged and their customer service agents struggled with basic maths when I complained. Never again, I don't care what fantastic discounts they're offering, it's meaningless if they're not actually applying them to your bill.
  7. gipimann

    gipimann Frequent Poster

    And for a similar reason, I switched from Just Energy (gas) even though they are currently cheapest. My experience was that they billed in the opposite month to meter readings, and therefore used estimates for every bill. They ignored my customer readings too. It took 4 bill cycles (8 months) and a recalled direct debit to finally sort it out.
  8. Jazz01

    Jazz01 Frequent Poster

    Are such issues as these are stopping people from moving regularly - regardless of the discounts being offered. As people may have experienced poor customer support, slowness to resolve issues by the companies, taking money when they shouldn't etc etc, incorrect billing etc - people don't want to deal with this on an ongoing basis. Is any saving worth the stress of sorting issues out, if or when they appear? Granted - not everyone runs into issues, but ...
  9. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder


    Because of all this messing and because I am not as organised as GNF , I took up the Electric Ireland deal

    Is there a gas and electricity supplier which rewards loyal customers?

    They have the same price for new and existing customers so they don't exploit the inertia of loyal customers.

    They do pay €200 to switchers so I wonder does that make them the same as the others?

    If you remember to switch every year, then I suppose you should.

    Did someone launch a service where they would manage your utilities for you and switch you automatically to get the best rate? Maybe that was in the UK?

  10. Leo

    Leo Moderator

  11. aristotle

    aristotle Frequent Poster

    I have used in the past to switch which works really well. One thing I noticed when I switched to Energia this year I got an extra €50 credit on my bill for applying directing on the energia website rather than through The same discount rates were available on both sites so may as well get €50 for doing it direct with Energia.
    mugsymugsy likes this.
  12. mugsymugsy

    mugsymugsy Frequent Poster

    I use bonkers to see the deals and then go direct as well.
  13. peemac

    peemac Frequent Poster

    I always thought that this would be a great idea til someone told me that most people would hate to pay for such a service.

    I went to panda power over 2 years ago and they call me a couple of weeks before contract is up asking if I want the same deal.

    I possibly could get a slightly better deal elsewhere, but time is money too.
  14. CiaranT

    CiaranT .

    Yes, Electric Ireland charge less for new customers, via cashback, than existing customers. New customers are treated differently to existing customers, it's just via cashback rather than unit price but it is the same principal.

    SDMXTWO Frequent Poster

    Maybe someone can explain this, I switched from EI to BG in Sept and signed to Level Pay at x per month. I see checking my online bill this morning that the Level Pay will now change to 30.00 euro extra per month. No explaination.
  16. mugsymugsy

    mugsymugsy Frequent Poster

    I could be wrong but they have seen your usage and decided you need to pay extra.

    Not a massive fan of level pay as when you want to exit the contract you have to mess around with refunds.

    SDMXTWO Frequent Poster

    Well I gave them my yearly usage for last year and they came up with a number€, but this almost 350€ extra which seems dearer than EI pay as you go meter. I am awaiting an answer from BG.
  18. Mrs Vimes

    Mrs Vimes Frequent Poster

    I looked into Level Pay with Bord Gais a few years ago when they rang me up to try and push it. Fortunately I had looked into it already and had found out that you have to pay 20% more than your usual usage amount. The person on the phone admitted they hadn't planned to point that out to me.

    Of course, that's so that you won't end up with a big bill down the line.

    You'd have to be really cynical to think it was actually to tie you in to them because you have a huge credit on your account and doubt as to how long a refund would take.
    SDMXTWO likes this.

    SDMXTWO Frequent Poster

    The wording I read now would have made me more wary had I seen it, whats the point in organising your agreed payments when they can decide to change that amount whether you can afford it or not. This 30€ increase will hit right at Christmas of course. This was not outlined to me at all when the sell was going on, it was give us your usage and we'll divide by twelve. After two months before the real winter has hit they have upped it by 30€. Im not happy with that as my cooling off period is over. Will I be penalised if I change?

    • You'll receive a monthly payment amount based on your annual usage
    • You'll choose a monthly payment date that suits you
    • Each month we'll deduct the agreed payment amount by Direct Debit
    • We will regularly review your account and your amount may change depending on your usage and payments. If so we will notify you on your bill and by text message
  20. Sean Og

    Sean Og Frequent Poster

    I am on level pay with BG, i didn't realise this. Am i paying 20% more for this service?