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Help offline relatives get cheap online tariffs Article Discussion

edited 23 November 2010 at 6:57PM in Energy
12 replies 3.7K views
MSE_ArchnaMSE_Archna Former MSE
1.9K posts
MSE Staff
edited 23 November 2010 at 6:57PM in Energy
This thread is specifically to discuss the content of the

Help offline relatives switch energy

To discuss or ask a question about this article: click reply


Everyone else can read the Cheap Gas & Elec guide.
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Replies

  • kag16kag16 Forumite
    1 posts
    I found that after the comparison checks, for me at least, Eon were going to save me the most money. I then went onto Quidco to discover you can also get £100 cash back for starting a new Gas and Elec account with them. I recommend checking the reputable cash back websites before you sign up to any of these companies as you could get a nice wee extra bonus.

    Paul
  • As I have mentioned before, I do this myself for the in laws and a couple of other relatives. It's not perfect but it works OK. Only problem being, if ALL of us did this for our offline relations/friends, the price of all online deals would go up inexorably! It doesn't take Einstein to work out that the Big 6 can offer these much cheaper online deals to savvy punters ONLY because approx 60% of their punters remain on the stupidly expensive standard rates!
  • icic Forumite
    2.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Mortgage-free Glee!
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    I've been running my family's affairs for years - I occassionally review my parents accounts (chasing the best savings deals) as well as keep an eye on their utility bills, and I now exclusively sort everything for my grandparents. They keep a pile of letters for me and each time I visit I sort it all out for them - just yesterday I secured a discount on my grandad's plumbing and drainage insurance after Homeserve upped the rate.

    The big difficulty has always been dealing with companies on the phone. Most are happy to take the account details from me, then quickly speak with my grandparents to confirm they are happy for me to deal with their account. The big problem is when they ONLY want to speak to the account holder and want the 3rd and 11th letter from a password, details of recent account transactions, etc, etc. My grandma suffers from dementia and is very easily confused, whilst my grandad is partially deaf and blind. LloydsTSB once slammed the phone down on me and locked down my grandma's current account because I was in the same room at the time she provided the password details on the phone - even though she'd already told them she was happy for me to deal with everything.

    Banks want you to set up power of attorney in order to do this, but why should this be necessary? Many OAPs struggle to understand the concepts of modern banking and utilities, but are far from the situation where p-o-a is necessary - but to get the best deals its necessary to make phone calls and use the internet. There has to be some middle ground...
  • Hadn't really thought about this until my 89-year old Mum received a new annual contract from Eon asking for an extra £19/month. Outrageous! I found the best deal using comparison websites and she will now pay £3/month less than her existing contract fixed for the next 12 months.
  • I created an email account for my mother and do all this online. This is very straightforward but if have to speak to supplier on the phone they have to ring her first. (which is fair enough)
  • Headline: "Switch your Gran! Help older friends & relatives save £300 a year on energy."
    I'm glad you added that second sentence, my gran died 40 years ago!
    But then again, at 62 years of age, I haven't got many older friends and relatives either.
    Don't make old people mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to p*** us off.
  • edited 28 December 2012 at 8:34PM
    cing0cing0 Forumite
    418 posts
    ✭✭
    edited 28 December 2012 at 8:34PM
    Your asking for a whole heap of trouble doing this as the supply transfer process never goes smoothly.

    Some useful things to remember.

    Do not give the new supplier or switching site your grans phone number. Before you know it, gran will have bought central heating cover, phone line and no doubt broadband & TV.
    Other posters have mentioned difficulty communicating with banks - written is fine for energy companies.

    The energy suppliers invariably discard opening meter readings so get confirmation of receipt and complain when they don't match what you have given. Factor in £30 for switching and £25 for the complaint to reward your efforts.
  • Hunter_Willis_2Hunter_Willis_2 Forumite
    4 posts
    MoneySaving Newbie

    So far, no-onehas mentioned Social Tariffs, which are available to “Vulnerable” groups and whichARE NOT PUBLISHED and ARE NOT AVAILABLE to the comparison sites. For instance, British Gas introduced theirEssentials Tariff in 2007 and the following is taken from an October 2011 announcementstill on the web and is the nearest they come to telling us about it: -



    The Warm Home Discount (WHD) Scheme has been introduced to replace energysuppliers' existing social tariffs. Thereare two groups of customers who will qualify for the WHD - a 'core group' and a'broader group'. British Gas has set thebroadest eligibility criteria.

    British Gas customers may be eligible for the broader group rebate if they are:


    · inreceipt of Cold Weather payments

    · orhave a household income below £16,190 and are elderly or in receipt of meanstested eligible benefit

    · orhave a household income below £16,190 and have a disability or long termillness

    · orhave a household income of below £16,190 and are spending more than 10% on fuelfor adequate heating (usually 21 degrees for the main living area)



    Note that thisis the broader group; the ‘Core’ group almost certainly includes those withlong term health problems such as CHD.



    These SocialTariffs are THAT SUPPLIER’S cheapest. But not necessarily THE cheapest on the market. The only advice which I have received aftermany enquiries is to ‘phone all the suppliers and ask about their eligibilitycriteria and relevant tariff(s). I haven’ttried that route but it may be possible to get this information from yourCitizens’ Advice Bureau.



    For yourinformation, I’m on: -Gas, 3.477p/kWh; 18.26p/day: Electricity, 10.664p/kWh,9.45p/day with Scottish Power’s ‘Fresh Start’ tariff.
  • So far, no-onehas mentioned Social Tariffs, which are available to “Vulnerable” groups and whichARE NOT PUBLISHED and ARE NOT AVAILABLE to the comparison sites. For instance, British Gas introduced theirEssentials Tariff in 2007 and the following is taken from an October 2011 announcementstill on the web and is the nearest they come to telling us about it: -



    The Warm Home Discount (WHD) Scheme has been introduced to replace energysuppliers' existing social tariffs. Thereare two groups of customers who will qualify for the WHD - a 'core group' and a'broader group'. British Gas has set thebroadest eligibility criteria.

    British Gas customers may be eligible for the broader group rebate if they are:

    · inreceipt of Cold Weather payments

    · orhave a household income below £16,190 and are elderly or in receipt of meanstested eligible benefit

    · orhave a household income below £16,190 and have a disability or long termillness

    · orhave a household income of below £16,190 and are spending more than 10% on fuelfor adequate heating (usually 21 degrees for the main living area)



    Note that thisis the broader group; the ‘Core’ group almost certainly includes those withlong term health problems such as CHD.



    These SocialTariffs are THAT SUPPLIER’S cheapest. But not necessarily THE cheapest on the market. The only advice which I have received aftermany enquiries is to ‘phone all the suppliers and ask about their eligibilitycriteria and relevant tariff(s). I haven’ttried that route but it may be possible to get this information from yourCitizens’ Advice Bureau.



    For yourinformation, I’m on: -Gas, 3.477p/kWh; 18.26p/day: Electricity, 10.664p/kWh,9.45p/day with Scottish Power’s ‘Fresh Start’ tariff.

    Hang on... I'm the gran and I help great granddad with his finances. I've been on EDF's social tarrif for dual fuel for about 6 years and no one can seem to beat it (yet). EDF have been advertising their little blue characters but when I phoned EDF a very nice salesman did an estimate and advised me that it would cost me a fraction more to 'fix' with blue and once I come off their social tariff I won't be able to get back on it because they've ended it. Definately worth checking before you jump in with both feet.

    I did a comparison check for my dad a few years ago and age concern had the best rate with eon, but once dad had swapped eon offered him an even better rate than the one through age concern. Dad's not keen on swapping again but he's happy for me to advise him on council tax benefit, pension credit and vouchers for glasses etc
  • starving_artiststarving_artist Forumite
    741 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
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    I really think it's really unfair that pensioners who never used computers in their working lives now miss out on many of the best deals not just for gas and electricity but banking, savings accounts and lots of other things because they are not online. I try to set up online accounts where I can for my mother who is in her 80s but it is a struggle as she can't remember passwords and security questions, gets confused by websites and I live hundreds of miles away.
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