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MSE Poll: What puts you off / frustrates you about switching energy?

edited 22 August 2017 at 3:41PM in Money Saving Polls
68 replies 14.6K views
Former_MSE_KarlFormer_MSE_Karl Former MSE
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MSE Staff
edited 22 August 2017 at 3:41PM in Money Saving Polls
Poll started 22 August 2017

What puts you off / frustrates you about switching energy?

During the election, we were gobsmacked when the man in charge of UK energy policy, business secretary Greg Clark, said: "I haven't switched, one of the reasons is... it is quite a hassle." If he's never switched, how does he know it's too much hassle?

Yet unlike Greg Clark, you're not paid to understand switching policy, though it does pay to switch. So we wanted to find out what, if anything, puts you off switching (even if you do it regularly)…

So energy bill payers, please select ALL the issues with switching which apply to you.

Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below. To see the results from last time, click here.

If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.

Thanks! :)



  • EctophileEctophile Forumite
    6.3K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    If I go to a supermarket, I don't want to be told how much the average household would save in a year if they switched from Sainsbury's beans to Tesco beans.

    What I really want to know is how much does a tin of beans cost?

    But if you go to any energy supplier's web site, the one thing that they absolutely don't want to tell you is now much their energy actually costs per unit (and the daily standing charge):mad:.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • qofbqofb Forumite
    2 Posts
    I agree Ectophile. I know that it's the combination of how much you use (sometimes even when you use) but if you can work a spreadsheet and know the per unit charges and standing charges, you can look at different scenarios yourself. These companies must think people are stupid if they think people will just see the word "cheaper" and switch without checking the charges.
  • I find energy comparison sites, including MoneySavingExpert's own Energy Club, to be misleading. These sites base their "calculations" on a fictitious house and compare to that. I know how much energy my house uses each year and am always surprised by the difference between what this fictitious house uses and what my own house uses. Often the alleged saving of "hundreds of pounds" turns out to be less than £100, often only £50. The hassle of checking through to each suppliers website to double-check figures is not worth the effort in many cases. I am constantly being reminded by MSE Energy Club that I am paying too much, yes I am, but only by a few quid and not by the sums I am being told I am. Also, I value customer service higher than saving a few quid so there is no way I am going to take the absolute cheapest offer it it means going with one of the energy suppliers who has been castigated for atrocious/poor customer service. There should be a weighted ranking of suppliers taking into account their customer service score as well as their energy price.
  • Yes qofb I know some people have issues with maths but as you say all you need is consumption, price per unit and standing charge. Tariff Comparison Rates or low, moderate and high consumption just confuse the matters. Another trick is to give a comparison with considerably less than your current consumption as long as what they can send you looks cheaper they are happy to camouflage the true cost any way they can.
  • I have had my gas, electricity and solar panel Feed In Tariff with the same provider since the panels were installed. I believe that the FIT stays with the original company if you switch providers but I worry that something could go horribly wrong in the changeover. Has anybody had any experience with this ? Does the FIT still come through okay ? Thanks
  • Moved house, brought energy contract with me, had smart meters (gas and elec) installed in new house. Great!

    Three months later, switched supplier without any hassle. However they're unable to use my smart meters. Typical!
  • BrowntoaBrowntoa Forumite, Ambassador
    49.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    The supplier should be made to show the total cost per unit including standing charges so it's a level playing field to compare
    I'm a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Shopping and Freebies, Phones and TV and Over 50s 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 . All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • Roger1Roger1 Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    We previously changed to Ovo, using MSE. They installed a smart meter. Fine, for the time being, though we can't read the (inaccessible) meter.

    Then using MSE we moved to Flow, who continued taking the same monthly payment by direct debit. OK so far.

    BUT they cannot receive readings from the smart meter! They send someone to read the meter, when we're out of course.

    Poor show.
  • egarobaregarobar Forumite
    51 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    One of the most frustrating things is the time they take. It can be up to two months before the process is completed. Especially the refund, even if you don't have to chase them for it - they just don't want to hurry to pay the customer.

    And speaking of which, I think that most of the time when I'm with a supplier I'm in credit, and their bills never make the position clear, and I don't think it's fair that the supplier has loads of their customers' money in the bank earning interest all year. And then they dawdle over paying back what they owe when you leave! Cheeky.

    I'd like to see a one week switch, like the banks do. I'm sure the technology would allow it.
  • EnglishBobEnglishBob Forumite
    6 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I'm not necessarily interested in the cheapest deal, if the penalty is poor customer service. I consider my present supplier isn't good on service, so when MSE suggests an energy switch I look at the feedback. So far, my existing supplier has had a higher vote than the cheaper alternatives: reluctantly, I'm sticking where I am... :(
This discussion has been closed.
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