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MSE News: British Gas simplifies tariffs at the cost of higher prices

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MSE News: British Gas simplifies tariffs at the cost of higher prices

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
21 replies 3.4K views
Former_MSE_HelenFormer_MSE_Helen
2.4K posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"The giant will up the price of its cheapest energy deals for new customers this month in return for simpler tariffs ..."
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Replies

  • davidgmmafandavidgmmafan Forumite
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    I cringed when I saw something similar by SSE. It has already been pointed out that this sort of thing will mean certain people paying a lot more to give larger numbers an almost insignificant reduction in thier bills. Bit like the council tax proposal for second homes really...
    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.
  • I_luv_catsI_luv_cats Forumite
    14.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    The result is the price of its cheapest deal will rise by £68 a year for a typical household.

    What a surprise - it wouldn't work the other way, would it???

    I just want to compare tariffs without tiers / standing charges / dual fuel / payment / loyalty points to wade through!!!

    I am with Ebico pre-payment, so with the GAS I don't have to worry about tiers, Elec is prob not much cheaper as a higher KWH. I check now/again with a comparison site.
  • So the goverment wants easier to understand tariffs people want smaller bills, so bg removes there cheapest tariff.

    y
  • I'm surprised this thread hasn't attracted more comments from the regulars? This is the problem with politicians like Huhne basically chickening out of actually doing anything himself and instead telling people to switch to cheaper online tariffs - if even just 10% of the 75% currently on standard tariffs actually did so the prices of the online tariffs would clearly increase significantly. It's obvious that the existing massive amount of punters on the Big 6s standard tariffs are funding the company's assault on the top of the switching sites.
  • edited 4 November 2011 at 8:23AM
    Airmike23Airmike23 Forumite
    403 posts
    edited 4 November 2011 at 8:23AM
    I saw the comment by SSE earlier in the week complaining about other energy companies misleading tariffs, so not like their fixed discount january 2014, which a lot of customers believed to be a fixed unit rate and isn't just a guaranteed 2% discount against Standard tariff unit rates - and now BG, simplify but pay more, how is that saving anyone any money? The big problem with the energy industry is the companies, through shoddy sales practices, and then bad customer support once a customer, have given the consumer the opinion that they all a bunch of shysters, so instead of trying to educate the customer, give them a simple overview of the range of products, their annual usage, and how the unit rates and discounts apply to this, they treat the consumer as a dumbass and actually end up making more money!!! That's the part the government should be looking into - profiteering.
    Some of the companies are worse than others, before I worked for an energy company, I knew how to work my bills out, mostly because I got into a huge debt, and I just could not understand it at the time (I had been estimated for over 18 months, as at work when guy came to read meter), when a very helpful person from BG took the time to explain it to me in laymans terms, it was clear.

    Energy bills are like any thing, you could not expect to pick up a french book, read it and understand it, if you have not first been taught how to understand the french language. Granted energy bills do not require that level of understanding, but it would be better for the bills to actually be laid out in away that does make it simpler to understand, for instance, I work for Eon, I think it was start of 2010, supposedly new bill format introduced at the time, easier to under stand - no - actually laid out in a worse way, just has more information on it, thus making even more baffling if you are already clueless!

    I think sometimes there can be too many different tariffs from a provider, but also not every customer want the same pricing, soime folks do actually want a fixed rate, personally the only party that makes out the majority of the time on those deals are the energy companies, unless you're lucky enough that there's a great fix at the right time, some people do not have the internet, or do not want to online billing, so a couple of competitive paperbill options is also a good thing to have. BG have set a worrying precedent, unfortunately, the other companies can often follow their lead, I hope in this instance they do not.

    Simple solution is that an energy company should not be allowed to quote a customer if the customer does not provide the energy company with annual consumption (unless lived at property less then 12 months, or never had energy bill before), it is the customers usage it is provided as an annual statement on all the energy companys bills, so there is little excuse for customer not being able to get this infor before contacting a new provider. This also includes looking at the tariff the customer is currently paying to existing provider, to ensure an accurate comparison given.

    The energy company should be (if a telesales call) questioning the customer for their needs, and then recommending the right price plan for them.

    I think all of the enrgy companies should drop cancellation charges if customer leaves tariff before expires (where applicable)

    The switching process should be made uniform, same process used by all companies. right now, only Scottish Power (for the most part) get gas and electric transfered on the same day. None of the other big six or smaller companies can seem to do this, so if one of them can - surely the rest could too.

    Hate the energy industry as a customer if that is your view, but customers need to start to take much more of an active role in understanding their usage, and various things can and are being done by all of the energy companies to aid this, so that with relative ease they can make a comparison, and be confident of the right choice made when they do switch.

    No standing charges thanks!! Not a solution to simpler billing.

    Companies hsould end all cold call based selling, whether instore, at events, or telesales.

    If the energy companies wanted to drop prices they could, they wont they are profit making businesses, as with any other type of product or service - they need to do something real now to show they do care about the customer base and they do not just see the customer as a cash cow.
  • Are Eon still not granting a discount on their final bill, Airmike23? Or has that particular revenue stream been stopped?
  • TIMMY85TIMMY85 Forumite
    170 posts
    I agree with several of the points above.

    If I speak to a customer who wants to switch to BG I personally always ask for their consumption and ask them not to tell me their DD until I have given them a quote on annual cost and DD ammount. It amazes me the customers who say they do not have time to get this information even when I offer to call back.

    It also suprises me the number of people who do not link usage and payment as being separate and think their payment should remain the same when in debt or their usage increases. If Martins petition for financial education in schools gets changed to the curriculum energy bills should be included in this ad they are a large cost!

    I do not see gas prices falling as it is a finite resource and cannot be used twice. With the concerns over fracking I suspect it will be some time before shale gas resources can be utilised.

    Online tariffs, especially the cheapest deals have always been designed for comparison sites to win new customers. Calls for less tariffs will result in deals disappearing.

    I wonder what the ideal billing structure is - SC/NSC? One rate for all energy used and no standing charge? Two tiers?? I suspect that any change in structure of pricing will result in the same cost for most. There will of course be winners and losers.

    I also think that when comparing suppliers the unit rates are irrelevant if you have your consumption as the changed in rates/structure are taken into account when getting an annual cost, using the same consumption figure.
  • TIMMY85 wrote: »
    I do not see gas prices falling as it is a finite resource and cannot be used twice. With the concerns over fracking I suspect it will be some time before shale gas resources can be utilised.

    This is why we need to punish the higher users. Forget simpler tariffs, that way everyone is in the same boat.

    Instead the rates should be rounded up numbers and the thresholds need to be reversed.

    Example:

    Electricity 10p up to 1500kWh after that 22p up to 4000kWh then everything above should be 29p. Even a high school student can work that out.

    Something similar for gas and you have a tariff that is easy to understand, helps the poorer/lower users and punishes higher/richer users who have swimming pools in their 10 bed mansions!

    MM
  • TIMMY85TIMMY85 Forumite
    170 posts
    MoneyMiser wrote: »
    This is why we need to punish the higher users. Forget simpler tariffs, that way everyone is in the same boat.

    Instead the rates should be rounded up numbers and the thresholds need to be reversed.

    Example:

    Electricity 10p up to 1500kWh after that 22p up to 4000kWh then everything above should be 29p. Even a high school student can work that out.

    Something similar for gas and you have a tariff that is easy to understand, helps the poorer/lower users and punishes higher/richer users who have swimming pools in their 10 bed mansions!

    MM

    Except this would dis-advantage those who are high users who are not rich and have swimming pools such as the elderly and disabled who feel the cold and are on a low fixed income.
    There will be no right sollution as there will be losers on any changes!
  • i was on the phone to my leccy supplier today - as i needed to ask lots of q's regarding a fuel change over (i am currently all electric - night storage heaters etc, but have option to switch to gas central heating early next year)

    when i asked about doing a deal online instead of over the phone - as they seem to be cheaper - the guy on phone said that they are no longer permitted to offer better discounts to online users only - phone users can now get exactly same deal as those online - he said that this ruling only came into force this week/this month - was he talking poop or is that now the case?

    also - i queried the gas tariff - having a much higher rate for the first lot of kw's used - and a much cheaper rate after that

    this is bonkers - in a world were we are supposed to be encouraged to save energy. surely energy users should be encouraged to use less fuel - and a great incentive would be to have a cheap rate for the first units used and gradually rising rates as more fuel is comsumed
    saving money by growing my own - much of which gets drunk
    made loads last year :beer:
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