Are Prepayment customers being excluded by the new energy challengers?

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  • MWTMWT Forumite
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    Wow, that’s a good tariff for prepay. I’m actually with Octopus so rate them, just don’t see why people with prepay meters can’t sign up online. This was highlighted as an issue by citizens advice and I tried to link the article in my original post. Think it’s a fair question.
    I don't know the answer, but given the comment about them not handling smart Prepay I would suspect they want to have a conversation about that first and also to see if the customer is trying to escape from prepay or if they want to keep prepay...


  • edited 1 March at 9:57AM
    bristolleedsfanbristolleedsfan Forumite
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    edited 1 March at 9:57AM
     just don’t see why people with prepay meters can’t sign up online. This was highlighted as an issue by citizens advice and I tried to link the article in my original post. Think it’s a fair question.
    Uswitch have Octopus Pre-Payment Tariffs in its database,they show when selecting existing tariff as Octopus Pre-Payment, however when putting existing tariff as EDF Prepayment do not get Octopus Pre-Payment Tariff results even when applying filter, see screenshot, illustration is based on pre April 1 increase cap price of £1022.00 ( Omni Prepay Variable was next best supplier result, Bulb result was £1000.22)
    2/2 people last week who wanted to switch Prepaid Smart Meter to Octopus ( with/without incentives) when I explained meter would need to be put into credit mode remotely by existing supplier so as to pay by DD to Octopus, both applied to switch straight away, when I subsequently suggested two other suppliers who accept Prepaid Smart Meter  with refer a friend switch incentives also available

  • EnergyinsiderEnergyinsider Forumite
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    I don't know the answer, but given the comment about them not handling smart Prepay I would suspect they want to have a conversation about that first and also to see if the customer is trying to escape from prepay or if they want to keep prepay...
    As Bristol Leeds fan mentions, If someone’s on smart prepay they’ll automatically switch to credit so can switch online to Octopus no problem.

    It’s only when people have legacy key/ card meters that Octopus don’t provide this option. Suppliers can tell the elec meter type at a property which is how other suppliers make this work.

    As I mentioned though, the article also talks about pure planet, igloo and others. The article is from 2019, and I still don’t see how you can switch to these suppliers with prepay meters even though they’re required to supply prepay when they reach over 50,000 customers.

    With many awards going to these new suppliers feels like prepay is being left behind a bit, and not benefiting from these suppliers in the same way credit customers are.
  • edited 1 March at 12:14PM
    bristolleedsfanbristolleedsfan Forumite
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    edited 1 March at 12:14PM
    I don't know the answer, but given the comment about them not handling smart Prepay I would suspect they want to have a conversation about that first and also to see if the customer is trying to escape from prepay or if they want to keep prepay...
    As Bristol Leeds fan mentions, If someone’s on smart prepay they’ll automatically switch to credit so can switch online to Octopus no problem.

    It’s only when people have legacy key/ card meters that Octopus don’t provide this option. Suppliers can tell the elec meter type at a property which is how other suppliers make this work.

    "Not wanting to leave people behind", not as simple as that, While it is the case that when someone switches Smart Prepayment Meter should automatically be put in credit mode when switch completes,  there have been instances in past when that has not happened, in event that it does not happen someone switching Smart Prepayment Meter to Octopus could end up with no Electricity, for this reason Octopus ( see screenshot) "advise that you ask the current provider to switch your meters to credit mode before switching to us"
    Some people have been getting told by current provider(s) that they will not put meter in credit mode in advance of a switch, Boost are telling people they cannot do that as they only do pre-payment Smart, Some people have not been able to contact current provider, plus there are people who want to stay on Pre-Payment Smart Meter and these are the people your thread  "Are Prepayment customers being excluded by the new energy challengers?" was aimed for :)

  • EnergyinsiderEnergyinsider Forumite
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    I agree there can be issue with smart prepay to credit switches though most will just switch online via a pace a suppliers website.

    Octopus let’s smart prepay customers switch to them via their online website so wasn’t really the general thrust of this thread.

    It’s traditional/ legacy prepay customers that don’t have the ability to switch online. Simply of the major suppliers this is only true for Octopus.

    But again at least they say you can switch if you contact them, many others won’t let you switch at all.
  • edited 19 March at 7:08PM
    bristolleedsfanbristolleedsfan Forumite
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    edited 19 March at 7:08PM
    MWT said:
    Octopus fully support Pre-Payment both for switching and as an option for existing customers:
    Their tariff listings also show pre-pay tariffs, so not sure why you feel they do not supply prepay customers..?
    Try switching to them via a comparison website or get a quote as a prepayment customer. They ask you to email them, purposefully making it harder for prepayment customers to switch.

    Plenty of people have commented on Facebook as a compliment to Octopus Energy over period of time, informed by Octopus agents that Octopus are not competitive for Prepayment meters, most the energy companies charge about same price for Prepayment, apparent cheaper exception being Bulb

    Following up on this, yesterday Facebook friend mentioned to me she was interested in switching key and card prepayment to Octopus from Bulb, she fully aware that it is likely that Octopus will also increase variable tariffs in not too distant future
    I sent Octopus a message asking were they aware that they do not show in results for prepayment via Uswitch when existing supplier is another company even when filter is ticked to show all tariffs including those cannot switch via Uswitch adding that Octopus prepayment tariffs do show when state existing supplier is Octopus this was reply :

    "Thanks for getting in touch and pointing that out. It does appear that the prepayment tariff is not one of those that is available through Uswitch, However prepayment tariff is non-competitive at the moment so if you wish to stay on prepayment you'll probably find a better deal elsewhere. If you are looking to join us on the prepayment tariff, I would be happy to provide a quote for you. Kind regards"

    My friend phoned Octopus this morning, switch to Octopus initiated,  "Yeah I got through straight away and she didn't say anything like that to me, just that they can only offer 1 tariff and its variable"  "Works out the same on electric as bulb b4 they rise prices but lots cheaper on gas so I'm happy for now"


  • EnergyinsiderEnergyinsider Forumite
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    Interesting. Prepay customers gets such a raw deal, just would like to see the new suppliers take on the challenge. 

    Prepay desperately needs the competition and innovation these suppliers can bring, hope it becomes more of a priority for them soon 
  • Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
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    If dozy Ofgem were any good, they'd have mandated long ago that pre-payment shouldn't cost any more than a credit tariff.  It's not as if the energy companies have to send someone round every month to collect the half crowns from the burgled meter; they get the money in advance and there's probably more risk from someone on a credit tariff running up a large debt and doing a moonlight flit.
    It's just plain wrong that responsible people desperately struggling to make ends meet and trying to avoid bill shock by limiting their consumption are hit by extortionate rates and daily charges.
  • edited 21 March at 10:09AM
    MWTMWT Forumite
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    edited 21 March at 10:09AM
    Gerry1 said:
    If dozy Ofgem were any good, they'd have mandated long ago that pre-payment shouldn't cost any more than a credit tariff.  It's not as if the energy companies have to send someone round every month to collect the half crowns from the burgled meter; they get the money in advance and there's probably more risk from someone on a credit tariff running up a large debt and doing a moonlight flit.
    It's just plain wrong that responsible people desperately struggling to make ends meet and trying to avoid bill shock by limiting their consumption are hit by extortionate rates and daily charges.
    On the other-hand credit customers can pay by DD which doesn't involve having to pay intermediaries to handle cash payments made at corner grocery stores...
    Ofgem is not going to mandate equality if there are still differences in the cost base as they see that as a business decision.
    They already went about as far as they can by mandating that suppliers over 50,000 customers have to offer pre-pay as an option.
    In any event Octopus are not one of the suppliers that heavily loads the pre-pay rates anyway...
    Here is the variable tariff for Eastern region...
    Unchanged from when I posted it a month ago...
  • edited 21 March at 12:07PM
    bristolleedsfanbristolleedsfan Forumite
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    edited 21 March at 12:07PM
    Octopus prepayment tariffs do not show as a comparion result on Uswitch even when filter box is ticked to show all tariffs including those that cannot be switched via Uswitch.
    Over a period of time including last week Octopus have sometimes (not always) answered enquiries/interest in switching prepayment with "prepayment tariff is non-competitive at the moment so if you wish to stay on prepayment you'll probably find a better deal elsewhere"
    This morning when someone asked Octopus what are the pre-payment rates answer was to scroll 60+ tariffs to find above named prepayment tariff rates without mentioning that apparent key detail - gives the phrase "needle in a haystack" a whole new meaning

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