MSE News: MoneySavingExpert.com turns energy market upside down

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  • MillicentBystander
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    I know it would have cut down the potential number of sign ups massively but would have been great if it only allowed you to put actual usage in the relevant boxes. After all, this is supposed to be a 'new kind' of switching site so would have proved it by doing this. Most of us on here know for a fact that is the ONLY way to get an accurate representation as possible. Using the DD figure you currently pay (or worse still allowing MSE to estimate the figure) is really not good enough...
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,272 Money Saving Expert
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    edited 4 February 2013 at 4:48PM
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    I've read the above and bashed this out (at speed so please ignore obvious typos etc)



    1. Is this a big data collecting exercise.

    NO. we’ve never done that before and we’re not doing it now. The only use of your details will be for the energy switch you agree to and for contacting you in the future about when you can get a cheaper energy deal.

    All of that contact will be from MSE not anyone else including Moneysupermarket who service the underlying switches.

    As always your data will never be sold on, you’ll get no other spam or marketing. I had hoped that was pretty clear.

    Its worth noting anything else would breach the editorial code of the site.


    2. If prices are constantly going up is there a point to this?

    There’s nothing we can do about energy price inflation. Yet the energy club is thereto ensure you’re on the cheapestprice possible to you at any time.

    For many on already cheap deals that will be when your special rate ends – eg afix or discount ends. For others it will be when your provider changes rate or when a new cheap tariff launches which saves so much that its worth moving


    3. Is this all about ‘channelling people’ to MoneySupermarket?

    Absolutely not. This is an MSE tool. You will never hear from MoneySupermarket –we just use them for the back end comparison provision.

    They are one of two external technology partners we have for this tool as its way beyond our in house capability to build (the other is allfiled). Though as you’ll see we’ve used their underlying platform and rebuilt the comparison element in an MSE way.

    I first planned the cheap energy club way back when Which? launched its collective switch (I hint at it in this blog
    http://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/2012/02/06/surprise-call-from-ed-davey-energy-minister-on-collective-switching/)way before the deal with MSM.

    It’s important to understand this is an MSE tool not a moneysupermarket one, we (ie me ultimately) decide what happens with no interference and contractually guaranteed due to the editorial code.

    As you’ll see compare right now and the very cheapest it comes up with (formost) are not ones that we have links for – so they don’t contribute to the site at all.

    4. Is this all a big referral fee game?


    No. Though I hope it is profitable. I had this built because I believe it will be a great way to keep people on cheap tariffs.

    All comparison sites get paid if they can switch you. The Energy Club does too – though we give £30 cashback (dual fuel) ie a good chunk of the referral fee we get. This costs the user nothing – if you went direct you’d pay the same and get no cashback.

    The rest goes first towards paying the sizeable costs and hopefully in the long run it’ll be profitable.

    Of course from a website perspective I hope this is a good move. We hope by providing this service then we’ll keep people on the cheapest tariff and in turn they’ll switch through us rather than a comparison site which should generate regular revenue which will help pay for us to develop and add resources to the service.

    I hope one day to turn the club into phone based tool – so those not online can take advantage - that would be a real game changer for many of the fuel poor, but that all depends on how well it goes.


    5. Why not only allow people to enter their KWH usage?

    Nice idea but this tool is primarily to help those who don’t usually help themselves because its too much hassle. That’d simple wipe it out. Many people struggle to find what tariff they’re on let alone Kwh usage.

    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,272 Money Saving Expert
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    PS Any practical and technical feedback or glitch spotting welcome
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • welshee
    welshee Posts: 364 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
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    Question deleted as it as been answered above.
  • MillicentBystander
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    Still not seen an explanation as to why you need a person's actual address as opposed to simply their post code? Apologies if I've missed it.
  • Jakey1
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    A word of warning -the cheapest supplier this tool provided is Spark. Google them to see how terrible their reputation is.
  • VT82
    VT82 Posts: 1,079 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
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    Still not seen an explanation as to why you need a person's actual address as opposed to simply their post code? Apologies if I've missed it.
    Surely it's so that it will be correct when it comes to actually switching you, not just at the quotation stage?
  • WestonDave
    WestonDave Posts: 5,154 Forumite
    Rampant Recycler
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    VT82 wrote: »
    Surely it's so that it will be correct when it comes to actually switching you, not just at the quotation stage?

    Which is true, but if you ask for the house number when the enquirer proceeds with a switch, you don't end up gathering extra data on those who run a comparison, decide there is nothing currently worth switching on, and so don't take it any further. For a significant minority (at least) this is a deterrent to using the site and will undermine efforts by Martin et al to gather enough members to wield weight of numbers in the energy market.

    It's somewhat irrelevant anyway as its fast becoming obvious that the bugs pointed out in the pre launch testing done on the MSE Labs part of this site are still there - particularly incorrect exit fees.
    Adventure before Dementia!
  • cannyscot_2
    cannyscot_2 Posts: 1,040 Forumite
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    I am keeping an open mind - I did seem to get more choice from Uswitch but the good thing is it got me thinking. I got spark as well when in fact there might actually be better savings with cashback on other suppliers . I am hoping people try it and come back with the answers-that 's the benefit of the MSE community -great tested info!
  • Wywth
    Wywth Posts: 5,079 Forumite
    edited 4 February 2013 at 6:37PM
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    Jakey1 wrote: »
    A word of warning -the cheapest supplier this tool provided is Spark. Google them to see how terrible their reputation is.
    Don't believe everything you read on t'interent. ;)

    e.g. Anyone can create one (or more!) accounts on this site and post anything they want (as long as it's within the rules)

    Perhaps you could name an energy supplier that doesn't have anything bad said against them on t'internet.

    How much can you save with Spark? Are you sure you have registered with the correct forum if you are not interested in saving money?

    Edit: Just read your other previous post on this site - yep it does seem like you advocate paying more for things than necessary :cool:
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