Energy supplier Octopus

edited 30 November 2016 at 3:03PM in Energy
5 replies 2.9K views
Bellabella_2Bellabella_2 Forumite
42 Posts
edited 30 November 2016 at 3:03PM in Energy
I recently applied to switch to Octopus Energy, choosing their Green Tariff (100% renewable electricity), all done via their website. On November 19th, I received an email from them saying it had all gone ahead and my direct debit was set up. Yesterday, I received another email saying that the switch hadn't gone through for reasons which seemed plausible. So, I went back onto their website and asked for a quote in order to reapply, but the Green Tariff wasn't given as an option this time. So, I called them. I was told that the Green Tariff is no longer available but that I could choose either the 12 month fixed tariff or the Super Green Tariff. When I asked what the difference was between the Green Tariff I'd chosen before and the Super Green Tariff, apart from higher gas prices, the sales person didn't know, and that information isn't on the website as far as I can see. He did ask someone eventually and then told me that the gas is carbon offset in the Super Green Tariff. He also seemed to be saying that the Super Green Tariff isn't fixed, which is odd because the Green Tariff definitely was. So, while on the phone, I went to the menu/tariffs section of the website and put my postcode in there to see what tariffs are available to me according to that part of the website. This time the Green Tariff came up as an option. When I mentioned this to the Octopus sales person, he said that was wrong and it isn't available. I'm assuming they've either withdrawn the Green Tariff and haven't updated the website (or indeed told the likes of Uswitch, who are still advertising the Green Tariff!) or Octopus are pushing three of their tariffs and telling potential customers they are all that's available when actually they are not. So, they are either inefficient or, hmmm, not being entirely transparent! Looks like the latter to me, which straight away destroys my trust in them as a company and actually makes me wonder why the switch to the Green Tariff I was originally put on didn't go through. Either way, it doesn't bode well, so I am walking away.

Replies

  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    I must be a bit dim. If you applied online and got confirmation then they cannot change the tariff offer - even if they withdrew it for other new customers 10 minutes after you applied. What were the plausible reasons that you were given?

    I applied to Iresa about 3 weeks ago. My offer was confirmed by e-mail. The tariff was withdrawn later the same day. The first part of my switch goes through on Sunday. At no time has Iresa suggested that it will not honour its contract.

    Personally, I would make a bit of a fuss if you have the e-mail evidence to show that your application was accepted.
  • edited 30 November 2016 at 6:52PM
    Bellabella_2Bellabella_2 Forumite
    42 Posts
    edited 30 November 2016 at 6:52PM
    They said that my application to switch didn't go through as I had applied to switch to another supplier too. I did apply to Bulb first but cancelled that application (due to a price rise during the joining period) before applying to Octopus, though only just before. I am assuming that OVO (who I am with) didn't stop the switch to Bulb, or Bulb didn't stop it, before Octopus applied. It still says on the menu/tariffs section of the website that the Green Tariff is available, so either that's wrong or the sales rep was being rather economical with the truth!!!! It felt like a hard sell.... It has put me right off them already, so I'm not pushing for that Green Tariff now. I'll move elsewhere. I just really wanted to post my experience here. Other people might have had a better one..... Customer service at energy companies is generally lousy IMO, so I'm not sure where to go. I'm getting a log burner soon and may just use that, candles and cold baths!
  • The Green Tariff is still showing as available on Uswitch (though you can't switch via them), but when you call Octopus for that tariff, they say it's no longer available. I've spoken with Uswitch, who are looking into it. They say that suppliers are meant to announce when they withdraw a tariff, and Octopus haven't announced that they've withdrawn the Green Tariff. I guess they are pushing the three that first came up when I put in my postcode. They clearly shouldn't be denying others exist. Shouldn't they also be letting customers know what all the options are?
  • To be fair to Octopus, this is the reply the London customer service team sent to me when I emailed them about the Sheffield experience:

    "I'm really sorry to hear you've had that experience! Unfortunately, our sales team in Sheffield are not trained in dealing with customer issues like we are in the London office. They should have directed you towards us as they are not meant to deal with customer problems like this. Our number is 03308081080.

    I'm also sorry to hear that they said your original Green package was not available, which it is, as that was what originally agreed upon and is what i have honoured in re-commencing your switch.

    I can assure you that everyone here in the customer service centre is trained well and we pride ourselves on being totally transparent.

    If you are interested, the difference between the Green and Super Green tariffs is that the gas on the Super Green is 100% carbon offset; hence the slightly higher price.

    I have already re-applied for your switch as you probably already know from my other email. However, if you would really like us to cancel, of course we will oblige. I'm happy to credit your account with £5 as an apology for the poor service you received from the sales team.

    If you have any other questions please let me know!"

    And this is my reply:

    "I will stick with that plan then for now as basically I can't invest any more time in this switch. However, I really think that Octopus need to train the sales team better.......especially to be honest with customers! I'm assuming that he told me the Green Tariff wasn't available and didn't refer me to you, despite my saying who I had had email communication with and what about, because he wanted to make a sale of the tariffs promoted on the website to meet a sales target. IMO Octopus should reconsider how effective that technique is in the long run.

    BTW I did call the number you gave me, but I must have chosen the option that got me through to Sheffield."

    Fingers crossed then. There's no exit fee, so....

    (I hope this post is useful to anyone else having problems switching to Octopus or with their sales team.)
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Sounds like they put their hands up and have done the right thing. I hope that it all works out well for you.
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