MSE News: Hidden energy price hikes to be outlawed

in Energy
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This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"Energy firms won't be able to wait months before notifying households of a price hike, the Government has pledged ..."

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  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
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    I think the energy companies idea was to reduce postal costs, by sending out notification with the next bill. Savings with 1 million customers....... £250,000.
    A charge which will now be passed on to customers.
  • Premier_2Premier_2 Forumite
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    I've heard this before ... several months ago. As you say, it was mooted by the previous administration.

    As was pointed out then, delaying advising customers for months could allow the customer to get the previous cheaper price by them to change supplier (terms apply).
    In fact I benefitted from this, but I didn't pay the reduced price but eventually got the energy for free as the supplier failed to bill me correctly for almost 2 years, so invoking the 12 month back billing rule

    This change, if it now goes ahead, will wipe out the possibility of getting cheaper (or even free if you are lucky like I was) energy for several months. A victory for consumer revenge by closing a loophole they could could take advantage of? I don't see it really, but a vote for common sense (where else can suppliers tell you of a price increase months after they have supplied you?) and one I'm sure the suppliers will relish; their finance guys will ensure any price change takes account of the added cost involved in telling their customers of such change promptly. It may even put them off declaring price reductions if the cost of advising those reductions is so large.
    "Now to trolling as a concept. .... Personally, I've always found it a little sad that people choose to spend such a large proportion of their lives in this way but they do, and we have to deal with it." - MSE Forum Manager 6th July 2010
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Agree with the above two posts, albeit it is only the more savvy customers that would have been aware of the loophole to get weeks of gas/electricity at the pre-increase price; a loophole that is now closed to the detriment of customers.

    The extra notification costs will simply be borne by the customers - BG for example have some 18 million customers, I wonder how much it will cost them(i.e. us customers!) to prepare and send out letters; and how many will bother to read and/or understand the contents

    In any case unless you live in Outer Mongolia with no access to the internet, you cannot fail to be aware of the reports in the media of the increases.

    We will now have a case of Company A announcing an increase. Company B delaying their announcement in the hope of attracting droves of customers from Company A. As soon as enough have switched - guess what Company B does?

    The original 65 working day notice made sense!
  • davidgmmafandavidgmmafan Forumite
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    I don't have any problem with them not notifying or price reductions. On balance having to tell people about a price increase makes sense, every other thing you buy has to tell you of a price increase before they implement it.

    I can sort of see the logic if a bill is due very close to the change, and am constantly amazed by people I still encounter who know nothing about the MASSIVE price rises which occured in 08. Its been on the tv, radio and papers. I know some people don't take an interest but still.

    Rant over...

    What's really needed is a regulator people believe in, and its not Ofgem.
    Mixed Martial Arts is the greatest sport known to mankind and anyone who says it is 'a bar room brawl' has never trained in it and has no idea what they are talking about.
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