MSE News: Energy comparison sites hide cheap tariffs, but we don't

in Energy
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  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    As far as I am aware, energyhelpline.com shows all available tariffs.

    If someone knows otherwise, I would be very interested to know.

    That is the subject of many of the posts earlier in this thread.

    It would appear that different computers get a different screens.

    In the Guardian article - see link in post above - it states:
    Energyhelpline.com provides the comparison information for the Guardian’s compare and buy service.


    At first we were happy to see a button which said “What tariffs are you interested in”, which automatically ticked “all tariffs”.


    But further down it said “filter my results to show tariffs we can switch you to today”.(my bold)
    The default position for that filter is as shown - i.e. it only lists the tariffs for which energyhelpline gets commission.

    As stated in the other thread today:
    As an example, some people only use mains gas for cooking and have very low consumption. Heating is by other means.

    For those people Ebico is normally the best company as they don't levy a daily standing charge and the price is the same regardless of payment method(Direct Debit, quarterly or Pre-pay). They are also non-profit!

    Yet as they don't pay commission they are not on the 'default option' for some comparison websites.
    Leaving energyhelpline in the default setting Ebico is not shown.

    It would appear that some computers don't see that question on the website. In that case when they see:
    "Do you only want to see deals you can switch to today" which doesn't really mean that but really means "do you only want to see the deals that pay us a bribe".

    Of course if they were to say that, then people would get upset, so they instead have to invent an innocuous way of asking the same question which will slip under most peoples radar.
    Bear in mind that many people are unfamiliar with these websites and will not change the defaults


    P.S I now see you have completely changed your post.
  • CashStrappedCashStrapped Forumite
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    Lol

    Sorry about that

    I worked it out just after I typed my post
  • "Ultimately the problem here is that the Ofgem Confidence Code allows this to happen – that's where the focus of change should be."

    Once again we see OFGEM is in the pocket of the big energy companies, this won't come as a surprise to anyone of course, except perhaps to OFGEM or the politicians who appoint them.
  • Regarding the posts earlier with regards to energyhelpline showing or not showing a further option to "show all available tariffs", I have found the solution.

    As I use firefox, I use a series of "add-ons" to remove ads and prevent scripts executing without my authorisation.

    If anyone is interested I use: Ad-block plus, ghostry and No-Scripts.

    They are well worth it (take a bit of getting used to), as I have a complete ad free internet experience. It also means I have a much safer browsing experience.

    Anyway - It appears that the last option is a separate script on the page which is classed as an ad by Ghostry and No-Script. It is run by optimost.com - That is the script that enables that last option on that page.

    So it is a script/tracking script that presumably is classed as an Ad as it has some sort of Advertising effect i.e promoting certain tariffs.

    But is has never appeared for me with my add-ons.

    Problems solved - We are not going mad

    It is just another trick to hide the best deals.
  • corbyboycorbyboy Forumite
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    sacsquacco wrote: »
    Martin fully explained how his site works and was very upset with a virtual slanging match with his accuser on Adrian Chiles Radio 5 live lunchtime prog today.He ended up even saying "you have defamed me " so maybe a law suit pending here. Excellent listening and worth a listen on catch-up for the full 3 rounds. Adrian tried to get them to shake hands..Martin refused

    That guy was an absolute idiot. He was clearly there just to wind Martin up. He kept getting in sly little digs and saying a lot of outrageous stuff that was totally inaccurate and irrelevant.
  • CashStrappedCashStrapped Forumite
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    Castler wrote: »
    It is just another trick to hide the best deals.

    I think you misunderstood the point of my post.

    My computer automatically disables that option as it can see it is part of an "advertisement".

    So the ad-ons in my browser actually prevent energyhelpline from hiding tariffs.

    So it is actually a benifit to me and others who have their browser in such a way.

    It is nothing to do with the website tricking me or my browser.

    Some people may not understand what I am going on about as some people do not use ad-ons and alternative browsers like firefox.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    I have just tried Firefox and I get exactly the same as I did on Internet Explorer 11 and my IPad i.e. it defaults to listing the tariffs for which energyhelpline gets commission.

    Even with your setup it asks(to quote):
    "Do you only want to see deals you can switch to today" which doesn't really mean that but really means "do you only want to see the deals that pay us a bribe".

    Of course if they were to say that, then people would get upset, so they instead have to invent an innocuous way of asking the same question which will slip under most peoples radar.
    A comparison website shouldn't need users to be 'anoraks' who understand the complexities of tariffs.

    Or computer nerds who understand:
    If anyone is interested I use: Ad-block plus, ghostry and No-Scripts.

    They are well worth it (take a bit of getting used to), as I have a complete ad free internet experience. It also means I have a much safer browsing experience.

    Anyway - It appears that the last option is a separate script on the page which is classed as an ad by Ghostry and No-Script. It is run by optimost.com - That is the script that enables that last option on that page.

    So it is a script/tracking script that presumably is classed as an Ad as it has some sort of Advertising effect i.e promoting certain tariffs.
  • Richie-from-the-BoroRichie-from-the-Boro Forumite
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    I use: Ad-block plus, ghostry
    Ditto, wouldn't want to be without them, this MSE site even on a 'block' system still tries to run chartbeat - google analytics - google tag manager and visual website organiser.
    Disclaimer : Everything I write on this forum is my opinion. I try to be an even-handed poster and accept that you at times may not agree with these opinions or how I choose to express them, this is not my problem. The Disabled : If years cannot be added to their lives, at least life can be added to their years - Alf Morris - ℜ
  • edited 20 October 2014 at 11:29PM
    CashStrappedCashStrapped Forumite
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    edited 20 October 2014 at 11:29PM
    Cardew....What?

    Dear oh dear....I really can't be bothered with this....

    Why do you have to resort to calling people "nerds" and "anoraks".....really?

    Just because I [or others] use Ad-ons on my browser!?!? Or because some people actually read websites!

    I see Richie-from-the-Boro uses Ad-Ons. What a nerd!!;)

    Please actually try to understand the context of a post.

    "A comparison website shouldn't need users to be 'anoraks' who understand the complexities of tariffs. Or computer nerds who understand:"

    I never said they should!!!! My post was nothing to do with this!!!!

    My post was simply solving the mystery as to why a box showed up on some peoples browser and not on others!!! Thats all!!

    You do not need to start quoting my posts and ridiculing them for suggesting ad-ons that can actually help users avoid Ads and Viruses online.

    If you look I put "If anyone is interested"....If you are not interested, don't read it!!!
  • edited 21 October 2014 at 6:18AM
    canterswestcanterswest Forumite
    364 Posts
    edited 21 October 2014 at 6:18AM
    MSE says it shows cheaper deals but it seems to be trying to stop cheaper collective switches being available elsewhere with its terms for its collective switch


    Suppliers have to offer MSE their cheapest tariff and MSE tariffs for collective switch must only be available through its collective switch. That sounds anti competitive to me.


    MSE's customer base will already be on cheaper deals than consumers on standard tariffs such as old people or students in rented accommodation.


    Personally, I find it offensive to try to tie up the cheapest deal for customers already on better deals and prevent cheaper prices being available elsewhere. It puts the standard price up which most consumers are on.
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