How much do companies such as USWITCH add to costs ?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
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Leon_WLeon_W Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
It's a pretty simple question that I'm finding hard to answer.

All Uswitch say on the matter (from their website) is we get paid a "small" commission .

How to define "small" ? £20 ? £100 ?

Anyone got any figures ? I would presume that Moneysupermarket and Compare etc would be paid about the same ?


  • icic Forumite
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    Look at Quidco and Topcashback for a clue - typically £30, but some tariffs could return £60 or even £100 - however they'll be the less attractive expensive tariffs. However on top of that there may be bonuses for securing a certain number of new customers within a period. There's nothing stopping you going to uswitch, doing a comparison, then going via quidco/topcashback/etc to secure that payment for yourself.

    At the end of the day, if there weren't comparison sites, it'd be very difficult to find cheapest tariffs - so somebody has to pay for the development and provision of the service, so I'm not so sure they should be seen as the bad guys. They exist because the market allows them to. If there was no choice in tariffs (and no competition), they wouldn't be necessary.
  • edited 31 October 2013 at 1:42PM
    MillicentBystanderMillicentBystander Forumite
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    edited 31 October 2013 at 1:42PM
    It's sort of shrouded in mystery but to get some idea just check what sort of cashback is available for the individual from one of the cashback sites. Just checking on topcashback and the biggest cashback is £52.50. I'm sure the switching sites will get a better kick back due to the high number of customers they are sending the energy company's way. It's a very lucrative business, clearly. And only adds to the costs of everyone's G&E. Switching in itself (even without the cashback) is I'm sure a pretty expensive process for the energy suppliers anyway.

    WHY can't the Govt just have their own official switching site with no back handers asked for or given? The rise of the switching site is yet another damning indictment of the mess that privatisation of the industry has instigated.
  • Leon_WLeon_W Forumite
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    Right. So the cashback sites also have to make a living so they will obviously need to take a cut as well, I understand that. but if they return you £50 what are they getting ?

    What I'm getting at here is customer acquisition is a very expensive business, you only have to look at the eye watering advertising budgets of large companies. What I suspect is that Uswitch are very happy to talk up switching and even happier when other people are doing it for them. They seem to have become a monopoly in themselves and are in a position to dictate to energy companies what commission levels they want.

    Perhaps I'm wrong but nobodies telling.

    It seems to be pointless bleating on about green energy taxes of around £120 when the switching process itself is costing the consumer what, £100 in back handers ?

    I think they have a rep on this board. Simple question. On a typical dual fuel bill of £1500 how much do you get paid ?

  • Leon_W wrote: »
    Simple question. On a typical dual fuel bill of £1500 how much do you get paid ?

    Size of bill doesn't matter - backhanders to sites or customers are independent of consumption - I regularly pocketed 40% to 50% cashbacks with intended usage transparently declared upfront.
  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    OTOH, the demise of cold-call door-to-door energy selling means that the commission that used to be paid to sales agents is available for you to retain via a cashback site.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
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