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



  • Motchan79
    Motchan79 Forumite Posts: 3 Newbie
    Its normally that the collective switches don't have a green deal. Surely getting a cheap collective green deal is the optimal solution for people AND the planet rather than it being purely about saving an extra £20 a year.
  • Motchan79
    Motchan79 Forumite Posts: 3 Newbie
    Sorry, don't come on here very often & can never find where & when I can post. At least I'm in a Utility type forum!!

    I'd like to ask for any comments about the recent/latest push to get people to have a smart meter installed, bear with me on this. I don't want or need a new meter, smart or otherwise. I switched supplier about 2 years ago from nPower (worst ever company I've had) to First Utility. They're not brilliant, but ok, was going to switch to Ovo energy at the time, but they didn't offer the Warm Front/Home electric grant of £140 each year I'm elegible for. While at it, does anyone know why all companies don't allow you to get the grant through them?

    I do meter readings every month & was paying by fixed d/d, only issue I had was last winter, due to major damp issue in my council home (moved to a year ago) I was forced to use a dehumidifier & electric bill went higher. This is now resolved as Council were forced to do major damp remedial work. First Utility wanted to double my monthly d/d & I refused. After hassle now pay whole bill ever month. I'm very aware what power I use in my property.

    I started to get e-mails/texts from First Utility about contacting Siemens to get a smart meter, told them I didn't want one. Then the letters, e-mails & texts started arriving from Siemens. I had a phone call from them today & that's aggravated me no end. First Utility just told me I had to tell Siemens's to stop contacting me about it. But what I'm very concerned about is why have the utility company given Siemens my personal information without asking me?? Isn't this breaching the data protection act? Also why are they so keen to get your gas/electric usage data so often?

    I did contact Which about all this, but even they wouldn't answer the question about how Siemens were able to get your info, without your permission. So I smell a rat!!

    Did you check your terms and conditions fully. They usually include a clause in there saying that they can pass your details on necessary third parties but your information will not be used for marketing etc etc.
    Most companies use third parties for maintenance, meter reading, customer services, customer feedback surveys etc so it doesn't constitute a public data breach into the public domain. Siemens have to protect your personal data just as much as First Utility do as they're governed by the same EU Data Protection regulations.
    NHANORAK Forumite Posts: 5 Forumite
    The last 2 times I've switched I've had to really push to get refunds. It seems that resorting to naming and shaming on social media was necessary in one case. In the other I had to threaten with reporting them to the watchdog.

    So that puts me off switching, unless the monetary reward is significant.
  • MothballsWallet
    MothballsWallet Forumite Posts: 15,850
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    It also doesn't help that the so-called regulator Ofgem has a very random approach to dealing with the industry: some of the rules they enforce quite strongly, others depends on what day of the year it is.

    They won't take individual consumer complaints, instead referring you to the Energy Ombudsman, which is paid for by the suppliers (can anyone say "conflict of interest"?).
  • Rachiedabbler70
    Rachiedabbler70 Forumite Posts: 303
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Posts Debt-free and Proud!
    I switch regularly and am just in the process of doing it now, however the new supplier has recorded a wrong meter reading for my gas and provided it to my old supplier so I have a bill for £1,000 with the older supplier when it should be around £5 and the new supplier thinks my meter has gone completely round through zero again and their bill to me is over £10,000 - should be about £15. I gave meter readings that were accurate on the day of transfer and they added a few 1000 units to it making a usage in just 3 days of over a million kwh :mad:

    I'm not going to lose any sleep over it - I phoned them, told them they were wrong, they accepted it was a ridiculous figure and I have been promised they will amend in the next 2 weeks.............. let's see what happens - I have in the meantime agreed to pay a fixed DD each month and if they get it wrong I will put in a complaint immediately. I spoke also to the old company and they have frozen the account pending the correct meter reading being given. I've cancelled the direct debit with them and agreed to pay the bill over the phone when it comes through correctly.

    Apart from the above I have found the process worked in the past, but when it goes wrong it does so spectacularly and wastes a lot of time. I keep monthly records of my usage so this made it easier to explain - if I hadn't it would have been hard to work through :(
    Blitz that mortgage
    Jun 2016 £152,000
    April 2021 £85,000
  • Spencerx
    Spencerx Forumite Posts: 21
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I don't want the hassle of having to find the cheapest supplier, I've got better things to do with my time. It should be one price for residential consumers and perhaps another for commercial. You think you've found a good deal and change only to find someone else is cheaper a month later and then you can't switch without a penalty. And I don't find my energy bills are any less now with all this competition. I'm with BGas and have had a smart meter because it was free. I never have to contact them so can't complain about their service. If I change and the meter is no good, then tough, someone will have to physically read my meters. I just want a simple life.
  • Consumerist
    Consumerist Forumite Posts: 6,306
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Spencerx wrote: »
    . . . I just want a simple life.
    And thank heavens there are many more like you too - or I might have to pay more. Keep up the good work. :)
    >:)Warning: In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
  • chrismbt
    chrismbt Forumite Posts: 42
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Being repeatedly told by comparison sites "TIME TO SWITCH", half way through a fixed contract and I'll save £XX f I switch now to a tariff that is DEARER than the one I'm on.

    No I am NOT going to be on the expensive "standard tariff" when my fixed period ends, I'll switch.

    I am aware that MSE don't do this, the others do.
  • Consumerist
    Consumerist Forumite Posts: 6,306
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 27 August 2017 at 10:36PM
    chrismbt wrote: »
    . . . I am aware that MSE don't do this, the others do.
    That's because MSE chooses not to be an Ofgem-accredited comparison site so it can - and does - ignore Ofgem's ridiculous rules which give misleading.results to consumers.
    >:)Warning: In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
  • oldnewhand
    oldnewhand Forumite Posts: 80
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Eliza Jane, I have switched since having solar panels installed and still receive my FIT payments from my previous supplier even having been through the long and painful process of extracting an apology and compensation from them through the ombudsman.
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