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  • FIRST POST
    • firsttimeever
    • By firsttimeever 6th Sep 17, 5:54 PM
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    firsttimeever
    Advice for a first timer..
    • #1
    • 6th Sep 17, 5:54 PM
    Advice for a first timer.. 6th Sep 17 at 5:54 PM
    Hi
    New to forum. I have been with SSE for over 10 years plus and never switched. I am a typical non switcher using payment on bills every 3 months which is the most expensive and silly way.

    I have used the comparison site and can save between £300 - £600 . I have included my actual usage and accurate information. However : i need advice . The best deals are with small independent companies. The 'big uns'. tend to offer smaller quotes but still savings of around £300.

    I have read reviews and most are quite negative about almost every energy company. So would you go for a small independent or stick to the big uns ??. And not wanting to risk too much . Do you have any suggestions on a sensible deal for 1 year fixed ??.

    Many Thanks
Page 1
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 6th Sep 17, 6:10 PM
    • 27,007 Posts
    • 13,128 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #2
    • 6th Sep 17, 6:10 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Sep 17, 6:10 PM
    Welcome to the forum.

    People are critical of all Energy companies; it is simply the nature of the beast. Over the years on this forum every major company has been castigated - sometimes with good reason, other times without good reason.

    The two main factors that will affect the choice of your company and tariff is where you live and your level of consumption.

    The various comparison websites often give a level of service 'star rating' for the various companies. Often those companies, who do not give commission to the comparison website, get a low service rating - strange that
    • firsttimeever
    • By firsttimeever 6th Sep 17, 7:26 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    firsttimeever
    • #3
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:26 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:26 PM
    Thank you cardew for your suggestions. I have undertaken a few comparisons sites and included detailed information. However: the top 20 or so tend to be small independent companies with little feedback or reviews from the site(s). And the best deal from the big un's is EDF 1 year fixed.

    So I suppose my question to forum users is _ will anyone gamble on unknown companies or is the collective 1 year fixed by EDF a safe bet ?. You can tell I am new to this !!
    • buzzard
    • By buzzard 6th Sep 17, 7:46 PM
    • 213 Posts
    • 3,017 Thanks
    buzzard
    • #4
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:46 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:46 PM
    I am currently with Avro after Ovo made a total mess of moving me from one tariff to another. I'd say the new small suppliers have to make a lot of effort if they want to stay in the game. Ovo were fine the first year but their billing is now a disaster.

    You can look on the energy Ombudsman site to see who gets the most complaints - Co-op energy have done very badly recently.
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 6th Sep 17, 7:56 PM
    • 3,815 Posts
    • 1,518 Thanks
    footyguy
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:56 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:56 PM
    Hi
    New to forum. I have been with SSE for over 10 years plus and never switched. I am a typical non switcher using payment on bills every 3 months which is the most expensive and silly way.

    I have used the comparison site and can save between £300 - £600 . I have included my actual usage and accurate information. However : i need advice . The best deals are with small independent companies. The 'big uns'. tend to offer smaller quotes but still savings of around £300.

    I have read reviews and most are quite negative about almost every energy company. So would you go for a small independent or stick to the big uns ??. And not wanting to risk too much . Do you have any suggestions on a sensible deal for 1 year fixed ??.

    Many Thanks
    Originally posted by firsttimeever
    My suggestion is to look at seperate suppliers and take the cheapest for each fuel.

    As you said, all reviews are invariably bad, whether big or small.
    In fact the only supplier I can think of without lots of bad reviews is a small one, but they only supply gas. (but they may not be the cheapest for you anyway)
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 6th Sep 17, 8:00 PM
    • 930 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:00 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:00 PM
    Some small providers get great reviews and others get shocking ones - Zog Energy for one is a shining beacon compared to the shambles of Iresa for example.

    If you use this site's Cheap Energy Club you can see the feedback reports for the various companies. Don't forget also it may be cheaper to split your utilities - gas with one company and electric with somebody else. I have SSE for Gas (as I managed to jump in on a cheap collective deal for that one) and Affect Energy for electricity. Prior to this I was with Zog and GB Energy.
    • AndyPK
    • By AndyPK 6th Sep 17, 8:00 PM
    • 2,433 Posts
    • 651 Thanks
    AndyPK
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:00 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:00 PM
    I would guess that you could save £500 (or a significant amount) by just changing to a fix tariff with SSE, and would be done simply by picking up and phone and be sorted in 24 hours.

    Small companies are cheap for a good reason, that they don't have lots of people on the end of the phone to sort problems, pay their employees peanuts .... etc.

    So if you want good customer service it maybe best to stick to one of the big named companies and you stand a slightly better chance.

    As said, simply locking into a tariff every year will save you lots
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 6th Sep 17, 8:01 PM
    • 3,815 Posts
    • 1,518 Thanks
    footyguy
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:01 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:01 PM
    ...
    . Often those companies, who do not give commission to the comparison website, get a low service rating - strange that
    Originally posted by Cardew
    Conversely, the supplier that seems to be continually spammed on this site by referrers appears to have great service ... at least from all those referrers who hope to earn money to pay their high energy bills with

    My motto is never to give business to spammers, and if the supplier involved wanted to stop such spam they could (e.g. by refusing to pay any referral fees to those referrers that spam this site)

    But I suppose there are enough silly people out there to make spam worthwhile, hence why it is so prolific.
    • firsttimeever
    • By firsttimeever 6th Sep 17, 8:08 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    firsttimeever
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:08 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:08 PM
    I always made the assumption ( wrongly ) that dual fuel is much cheaper. wow...
    • AndyPK
    • By AndyPK 6th Sep 17, 8:23 PM
    • 2,433 Posts
    • 651 Thanks
    AndyPK
    I guess it depends on your consumption. You seam to be a high user, therefore there is more to be saved by being separate.

    On the MSE energy comparison site, there is a tick box to only show big named suppliers, so you may wish to try that.

    Also scroll down and see what your current provider will offer on a fixed deal
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 6th Sep 17, 10:52 PM
    • 27,007 Posts
    • 13,128 Thanks
    Cardew
    I am currently with Avro after Ovo made a total mess of moving me from one tariff to another. I'd say the new small suppliers have to make a lot of effort if they want to stay in the game. Ovo were fine the first year but their billing is now a disaster.
    Originally posted by buzzard
    This perfectly illustrates the point I was making in post #2.

    This poster(buzzard) has obviously had a bad experience with OVO and feels justified in slamming them as a disaster with billing.

    However Martin in his article today(Switch NOW and save typically £300/year.) states:

    Better still it's from Ovo, a mid-sized firm with 700,000 customers which is constantly one of the top performers in our customer service poll. Last time 89% rated it 'great', just 3% 'poor', from a strong sample of 569 votes.
    The other comparison websites I use give it top marks for service e.g. Energyhelpline gives it 5 stars, its top rating.

    I have no experience of OVO but it would appear that the majority of OVO customers do not agree with 'buzzard'.
    • Daisy112968
    • By Daisy112968 6th Sep 17, 11:34 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Daisy112968
    I have just switched suppliers, having always been with British Gas (was not on the collective deal).... Receiving the letter from BG, informing me of the price increase & stopping the dual duel discount, prompted me to switch.

    I did comparisons, firstly for dual fuel, then separately. The cheapest deals were with suppliers I'd never heard of, & had bad customer feedback (or were being looked into by Ofgem etc)

    In the end, I went with Bulb for electricity & Zog for gas. I had never heard of either, but was very impressed with their feedback & prices. Bulb was not the cheapest, but cheaper than BG (I did use a referral & received £50 credit to my account)... This is a variable tariff, with no exit fee.
    With Zog, I decided on their Saturn tariff, with no exit fee.

    The switches took 3 weeks, absolutely no problems. Been with them a few days now & everything is great (so far, lol)

    So, as someone who has never switched gas & electricity, it has been a good experience. Personally, I wouldn't move to a supplier that has known issues.
    I didn't feel worried about moving to Bulb & Zog. If I were to experience any difficulties, I can leave without any penalties.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 6th Sep 17, 11:52 PM
    • 27,007 Posts
    • 13,128 Thanks
    Cardew
    Personally, I wouldn't move to a supplier that has known issues.
    I didn't feel worried about moving to Bulb & Zog. If I were to experience any difficulties, I can leave without any penalties.
    Originally posted by Daisy112968
    Welcome to the forum.

    The problem with the smaller companies is that it is simply not known if they 'have issues'.

    Many simply do not have the structure and experienced staff to handle any problems. So over the years there have been dozens of small companies that have ceased trading. Most are simply taken over by the Big 6. Even large firms like Virgin, Tesco, Sainsbury who entered the Energy market, stopped trading as a separate entity.

    It often is not that easy to 'leave without difficulty'. Posters have reported being chased for outstanding amounts that they dispute owing, or failing to get rebates.
    • macman
    • By macman 7th Sep 17, 9:56 AM
    • 41,344 Posts
    • 16,998 Thanks
    macman
    Despite your concerns, it is the Big 6 who still form the Bottom 6 in every annual consumer survey, such as Which? I have had good service from EOn, bad service from SP, good service from Ovo, and terrible service from Iresa-so it's not that simple.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • firsttimeever
    • By firsttimeever 8th Sep 17, 7:39 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    firsttimeever
    Thank you all for your advice and this weekend I will be switching. However: this is my situation. I am with SSE and currently a fixed rate deal is around £ 1550. It would appear I am a high gas user. So back to the comparison sites ..

    The smaller companies can offer me around £1200 fixed ( I want fixed). The best of the 'big uns' is EDF and EON around £1300. There is a local west country company called Bristol energy which comes out around £1200 ish. I was willing and ready to sign up to EDF because they seemed established and experienced but the reviews seem terrible. So I looked at the reviews on Bristol energy from another site but it was not good .

    I am at a loss . I just want an experienced sensible company ( not the cheapest) to sign up too. The one coming up on other sites is EON at around £1300. Also if I fixed for a year will it avoid any problems with DD ?.

    Am I asking too much or is this the reality ??
    Many thanks
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 9th Sep 17, 10:00 AM
    • 930 Posts
    • 518 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    Bristol Energy is owned by Bristol City Council FYI.

    If you're a high gas user have you checked whether its cheaper to take gas from one company and electricity from somebody else? Check Zog Energy out for gas if you haven't done so already - https://www.zogenergy.com/ - they're middle of the road/slightly budget price wise but they do get great reviews and it frees you up to take electricity from any other provider, as Zog currently don't do leccy.
    • AndyPK
    • By AndyPK 9th Sep 17, 10:57 AM
    • 2,433 Posts
    • 651 Thanks
    AndyPK
    I think all suppliers have "bad reviews".

    If there was a terrible supplier, there would probably be alot of information on this board about it .

    I'm a higher gas user than you, and am with EDF. Seam ok so far.
    Had to wait a few weeks till after everything was setup to move to quarterly, but that's not unusual.
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