MSE News: Npower price hike to hit 130,000 customers

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"Npower customers with its Energy Online January 2014 tariff face average price rises of 9.7% from 1 July..."
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Npower price hike to hit 130,000 customers

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  • Wywth
    Wywth Posts: 5,079 Forumite
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    Archna Luthra, MoneySavingExpert.com Clubs Manager says: "It's outrageous that energy suppliers should be allowed to get away with calling tariffs such confusing names.

    "It's just one of the tricks that they use in order to confuse consumers when switching.

    "With a name like Energy Online January 2014, it's no wonder many believed they were getting a fixed tariff that protected them from price hikes. I would urge anyone affected to complain with their feet and find their cheapest tariff."
    :huh:

    What part of "Energy Online January 2014" implies it to be a fixed rate tariff?
  • MillicentBystander
    MillicentBystander Posts: 3,518 Forumite
    edited 13 June 2013 at 2:53PM
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    Everything but the T&Cs? This is the problem with these 'guaranteed to be (insert derisory figure) % less than standard rate until (insert random date in future) - when you sign up they are invariably far cheaper than the %tage quoted which then gives the company much leeway to increase the tariff by quite a margin and remain within the T&Cs you originally agreed to' I would like OFGEM to make sure the '% less than standard rate' quoted in the T&Cs is just that on sign up so the punter knows exactly where they stand - especially on a tariff with effectively TWO exit fees.
  • Wywth
    Wywth Posts: 5,079 Forumite
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    At the time this particular tariff was launched, nPower also launched a tariff called "Go Fix January 2014"

    That I would expect that to be a fixed rate tariff ... which it is :)
  • Wywth
    Wywth Posts: 5,079 Forumite
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    Everything but the T&Cs? ...

    Energy? - Suggests to me it is for electricity and gas. Nothing suggests fixed here :huh:

    Online? - suggests this is an online tariff. Perhaps requires regular online meter readings to be supplied, or is paperless billing. Nothing suggests fixed here :huh:

    January 2014? - suggests the term of the tariff will go onto January 2014. I would expect to see early exit fees for termination before that date. Nothing suggests fixed here. It could be variable, discounted or capped.

    If unsure about any of the above, surely the T&Cs would be the place to look. :cool:
  • MillicentBystander
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    They are at it again with Energy Online August 2014.

    T&Cs
    Guaranteed to be 2% cheaper than npower's Standard charges until 31st August 2014

    Current prices according to UKPower for standard user in Midlands region:

    Online august 2014 £1164

    Standard tariff £1270

    I make that almost 8.5% cheaper at the moment. Which means they can increase the price by a pretty substantial amount and still remain within the T&Cs. This is the practice that needs ending by regulation (i would like to make it clear npower are by no means the only supplier adopting these methods). It needs stopping.
  • notbritishgas
    notbritishgas Posts: 2,306 Forumite
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    I think the underhand way Npower acted was not in the title but the fact that when they had a general price increase earlier this year they did not increase the price of this tariff.
    The result was that when the other suppliers price rises took effect this npower tariff became top of the comparison sites. I suspect that meant a big influx of new customers which was npower's intention.
    Unfortunately those new customers are now paying the price, literally.
  • MillicentBystander
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    Wywth wrote: »
    Energy? - Suggests to me it is for electricity and gas. Nothing suggests fixed here :huh:

    Online? - suggests this is an online tariff. Perhaps requires regular online meter readings to be supplied, or is paperless billing. Nothing suggests fixed here :huh:

    January 2014? - suggests the term of the tariff will go onto January 2014. I would expect to see early exit fees for termination before that date. Nothing suggests fixed here. It could be variable, discounted or capped.

    If unsure about any of the above, surely the T&Cs would be the place to look. :cool:


    Of course the T&Cs is the place to look but the vast majority of the GBP are not as geeky as us on here. Maybe npower could stop this sort of criticism in one fell swoop by adding the word VARIABLE actually into the title? They certainly have no problems incorporating the word FIX into the title of their fixed deal. ;)
  • victor2
    victor2 Posts: 7,642 Ambassador
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    Wywth wrote: »
    :huh:

    What part of "Energy Online January 2014" implies it to be a fixed rate tariff?

    They jumped onto the fact that fixed tariffs often include the end date in their title. I'd put money on somebody in nPower who creates tariff names stating, internally and confidentially of course, that they could suck people in by letting them believe it was another fixed rate tariff.
    Never have trusted nPower and probably never will, but that's only because I have spent the time and effort to seriously look into what I have to pay for my utilities.

    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the In My Home MoneySaving, Energy and Techie Stuff boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. 

    All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

  • Wywth
    Wywth Posts: 5,079 Forumite
    edited 13 June 2013 at 4:08PM
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    victor2 wrote: »
    They jumped onto the fact that fixed tariffs often include the end date in their title. I'd put money on somebody in nPower who creates tariff names stating, internally and confidentially of course, that they could suck people in by letting them believe it was another fixed rate tariff.
    Never have trusted nPower and probably never will, but that's only because I have spent the time and effort to seriously look into what I have to pay for my utilities.

    Lets see. I suggest you also don't trust:

    SSE ... and their Discounted Energy Bonus October 2014 tariff

    Scottish Power ... and their Help Beat Cancer Discounted Energy Feb 2015 tariff

    British Gas ... and their Online Variable August 2014 tariff (although I guess there is a clue in the name)
    How about Sainsburys (supplied by British Gas) ... and their Price Check July 2014 tariff

    ... well you get the idea. If you don't trust any supplier, ensure you fully understand all their T&Cs :)

    Edit: On the other hand, most fixed rate tariffs do include the word Fix or Fixed in their title.

    Only exceptions I can think of are:

    Flow - Thames tariff (New supplier - and this is the only tariff they currently offer. There is no date included in this tariff name either. )

    EDF - Blue +price promise tariffs

    British Gas - Price Promise tariffs.
  • Charade
    Charade Posts: 11 Forumite
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    Greetings - not posted on MSE forum(s) before but I've read them religiously over the years. Now, I feel, is the time to add my 2 penn'th.

    I've had many a verbal spar with Npower - incorrect bills, ludicrous Direct Debits, the full gambit - but today I'm in shock. I'll explain.

    I had "The Letter" about my Energy Online Jan14 price increase, only a day or two after receiving the email from the Cheap Energy Club. After leaving it for a week or so (during which time I also compared other prices myself) I rang Npower today armed with all the info required.

    The phone was answered by a very pleasant (youngish) sounding man and after the customary privacy ritual (confirm address, fuels taken, inside leg measurement, that sort of thing) I told him that I wasn't happy etc. etc. and he offered to help.

    He took my estimated 12 month usage for Economy 7 ( I am one of those sad people [my kids tell me] that uses Excel to estimate, calculate and advise - saved me a fortune over the years) and he told me of 3 tariffs that would be suitable for me - the obligatory Sept 2016 Fix, Energy Online Aug2014 (variable) and Price Fix Feb 2015.

    I'd already done the sums on the first 2 tariffs - the first was always a definite no-no, the second being variable was again a no-no with Npower (once bitten twice shy) - but the 3rd I hadn't come across. Apparently it's only been issued this week.

    Anyway, to cut an already rambling story short, the prices for Price Fix Feb 2015 actually work out cheaper, for me, than my current Online Jan14. Day units are more expensive, Night units are cheaper, Daily Charge v slightly higher but all in all I'm SAVING £30 ish per year plus no exit charge. As I've received a letter about the price increase, I now no longer have to pay an exit fee BEFORE July 1st but I will have to AFTER. And all this information was volunteered by the chap at Npower. As I said Earlier - I'm in shock.

    Other suppliers could save me around £20-30 year, but I mostly believe in better the Devil you know, and I've changed to this tariff. Time will tell if I've done the right thing.

    Hope this helps somebody.

    AndyW

    ps Over the yeas I've noticed that some suppliers unit prices are less than others, but the cheaper people usually have higher daily rates, so ALL prices have to be compared not just prices per unit. It's easy to be caught out.
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