MSE News: Energy switching slashed to 17 days for some

in Energy
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SSE has cut switching times to 17 days from today, and First Utility says it will introduce faster switching next week ...
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Energy switching slashed to 17 days for some

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  • PincherPincher
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    All I want is a meter reader visit, so there's no dispute regarding the takeover reading. Who cares if they do the paperwork in two days, two weeks, or two months?


    For people who want to switch every three months, I think they should pay an admin charge for putting the back office people through all the hassle just to save themselves a few quid.
  • naedangernaedanger Forumite
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    My switch to npower has taken over a year so far, and is still not fully sorted.
  • SnowManSnowMan Forumite
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    Reducing the time to switch may be a good thing, but there are major issues in many switches of getting the old account finalised and getting any credit refunded and the extreme difficulties getting the new account set up.

    We had the technology in 1969 to put men on the moon, but in 2014 energy companies don't have the ability to process opening meter readings supplied by the customer, pass them on, and for the old company to send out the finalised bills promptly and refund credits or provide a final amount to be paid. There is work going on I understand to improve the meter reading collation, but how on earth has this mess been allowed to develop.

    We are fed completely contradictory information from the regulators. Take for example this information from Audrey Gallacher of (what was) Consumer Futures starting at 2 minutes 50 seconds

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03kp476

    Audrey Gallacher says that credit should be refunded within 28 days of the switch. However mention that to OFGEM and they deny any such 28 day deadline exist, and they will tell you the company have a staggeringly long 42 days to refund the credit.

    On the last 2 switches my new account has not been correctly set up based on my opening meter readings and it has taken weeks and weeks to get my credit on the old account refunded. I am currently coming up to 4 weeks for my credit to be refunded on my current switch.

    It is no good to me if my switch takes 17 days if companies are allowed to take a further 42 days to refund any credit on the account (and if they exceed this, as often they do, there will be no consequences for the companies).
    I came, I saw, I melted
  • Sol00Sol00 Forumite
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    I've got to laugh at First Utility's response to this. :rotfl:

    I switched to them in April and have had problem after problem with them when it comes to billing and payments. Their customer service is an absolute joke, and I've had to go to the Ombudsman for a resolution. Perhaps they should prioritise the current issues before trying to be first to introduce faster switching.
  • edited 5 November 2014 at 2:08PM
    isayoldchapisayoldchap Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    edited 5 November 2014 at 2:08PM
    We switched last October 2013 through M&S (good price)who use Southern Electric
    The end and start bills were fine as we paid our final bill with Eon

    However on the Southern Electric website through my account,their system in June 2014 would not accept our new bank TSB.So we spoke to them thinking they would sort it out.They did but it took around a month and I had to chase them up for a direct debit credit.The whole problem it appears is their data systems were not set up for the new bank on the high street which had been around before we joined.Complaint still ongoing as they decide to not let you know the outcome.Nobody thought about phoning the data control office and sort it.From the first call advisor you speak to you expect some sort of action.


    Then on their bills they advise to keep your direct debit open if you are about to leave them so then they can put a credit back into your account.What they don't tell you is that they will take more money out even if your gas account is in credit and they have your last meter by you,showing that you have used not much they still come in and take the payment.Then our new company First Utility
    also take a payment when you join up so you pay twice.I have asked the CEO office at First Utility to look into why the third party who read the meters take so long to supply the end reads with all this technology around and in anycase they too were given a final read 4/10 by me online

    So First Utility we joined 4/10 and by 21/10 Southern Electric prepare the bill at last and 117.00 is the credit on account.
    Then via email they say they want to hold this until 10/11
    Eventually they give in and say they will put that back in my bank immediately.Second complaint ongoing

    Easy transfer maybe....returning credit back to the customer maybe a little harder to work on while they maybe earning intrest on your funds.

    To summarise...I joined FU on price and the quick 42.00 paid cashback on Topcashback,as I did not want to pay an extra 300.00 that SE were charging for year two.The FU October fixed online deal was a cracking price but you will get better now

    I may progress complaint after both parties write back.It may take 4-6 weeks for the transfer but it's taken over ten weeks for the refund and Southern Electric wanted to hold on to it until 10/11

    I have had dodgy ,now closed down Solicitors hold onto thousands of my pounds following a house sale and they even had the cheek to ask the Building Society for the money days before the exchange of contracts
  • michaelsmichaels Forumite
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    Hmm - I switched to FirstUtility 2 days ago as they were much cheaper than the MSE best buy EON and offered £50 TCB rather than just £30 available through the MSE switch.

    But now I am wondering if people who switch on the 10th will actually have their switch go through more quickly as they are on the new 17 day standard rather than the old 5 week one?!
    I think....
  • The banks are currently offering a 7-day switch, which includes a transfer of any credit balance to the new account as well as compensation for the customer if the switch does not go to plan.

    The new 17-day energy switch includes the existing 14-day cooling-off period. Why is it necessary for energy switches to have a 14-day cooling-off period?

    According to the MSE News Story, Ofgem's target is to have one-day switches in place by 2018, with a 14-day cooling-off period which begins after the switch. What will change between now and 2018 which will allow the energy providers to reduce their switching times from three days to one day?

    If switching times are reduced to one day, what steps will the energy providers take in order to prevent people logging on over breakfast, and switching supplier on a daily basis?
  • Bark01Bark01 Forumite
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    The banks are currently offering a 7-day switch, which includes a transfer of any credit balance to the new account as well as compensation for the customer if the switch does not go to plan.

    The new 17-day energy switch includes the existing 14-day cooling-off period. Why is it necessary for energy switches to have a 14-day cooling-off period?

    Consumer Contracts Regulations, its not limited to the energy industry
    According to the MSE News Story, Ofgem's target is to have one-day switches in place by 2018, with a 14-day cooling-off period which begins after the switch. What will change between now and 2018 which will allow the energy providers to reduce their switching times from three days to one day?

    If switching times are reduced to one day, what steps will the energy providers take in order to prevent people logging on over breakfast, and switching supplier on a daily basis?

    Cancellation fees.
  • anselldanselld Forumite
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    Sol00 wrote: »
    I've got to laugh at First Utility's response to this. :rotfl:

    I switched to them in April and have had problem after problem with them when it comes to billing and payments. Their customer service is an absolute joke, and I've had to go to the Ombudsman for a resolution. Perhaps they should prioritise the current issues before trying to be first to introduce faster switching.

    Completely agree. There is no way First Utility can do anything right in as little as 17 days!
  • PincherPincher
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    "All our pre-owned cars have gone through a 1,234 point approval process."


    Which dealer has ever had his tongue cut out for selling you a car with faults that should obviously have been picked up by any check list?


    It costs nothing to send a welcome letter within 17 days, followed by a rejection letter later. Wrong type of meter, credit check failed, take your pick. If Ofgem says failure to switch in 17 days will result in a £100 fine, then I might believe it.
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