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  • FIRST POST
    • sebado
    • By sebado 22nd Apr 13, 9:52 PM
    • 33Posts
    • 19Thanks
    sebado
    First Utility 18.6% rise.
    • #1
    • 22nd Apr 13, 9:52 PM
    First Utility 18.6% rise. 22nd Apr 13 at 9:52 PM
    Hi,

    Just received this e-mail from First Utility. I only moved to them at the end of December. Am I tied to them or can I move again? My decision to move to them was marginal and this smashes the savings out of the water.

    This makes the sales guy at British Gas sound like the oracle....rather than a commission driven blood hound.

    Shocking price rise.


    Important notification regarding your tariff.


    I am writing to let you know that your tariff will be changing to our iSave Everyday variable rate tariff from 1st June 2013, which unfortunately means that your prices will be increasing on this date. I appreciate this will be unwelcome news, but hope the context I outline below explains why this is a necessary decision.

    Context of our price change


    The energy industry as a whole is under pressure from increasing costs. These include charges for delivering electricity
    and gas to your home, mandatory government environmental schemes and social obligations, as well as the price we have to pay for energy on the wholesale markets.



    Although First Utility has been subject to the same challenging cost increases as other energy suppliers, I chose to delay changing our prices for as long as possible and until customers were through the coldest winter months. The Big Six all announced price rises by the end of 2012 during a period when heating your home costs you the most.

    Unfortunately the combination of factors above means that the average increase for our customers will be 18.6% but this
    is dependent on several factors including your energy usage*. I have included a personalised view of this below. Recognising the pressure on household budgets we have worked hard to find ways to protect our customers from future price
    fluctuations with the launch of our Price Promise and our new Fixed Price Tariff.
Page 1
    • dogshome
    • By dogshome 23rd Apr 13, 7:06 AM
    • 3,198 Posts
    • 1,661 Thanks
    dogshome
    • #2
    • 23rd Apr 13, 7:06 AM
    • #2
    • 23rd Apr 13, 7:06 AM
    From the title of your tariff it probably doesn't have a lock-in period, ( Read your T & C's to confirm this or phone FU )

    But even if does, the price rise gives you a 'Get-out-of-jail-free' card - If there is a lock in you must Write/Email FU saying you reject the price rise and are arrangeing to Switch, with this notice FU must continue to charge your present prices till the Switch is complete
  • sy123
    • #3
    • 23rd Apr 13, 7:08 AM
    • #3
    • 23rd Apr 13, 7:08 AM
    I have received the same email and transferred back in December. What annoys me is after some internet seach, there is a reference to this practice that ofgem only noted but took no action (of using a low price deal to sign customers on then raising their prices very shortly afterwards). I suspect it is a very successful strategy but not the most honest.

    I signed onto their isave v12 plan and the email offers to take me on the isave everyday plan which is not their current best deal (isave v15)

    I wonder if anyone knows how you can register this sharp practice with people like ofgem(is there another organisation out there interested in helping the consumer on these sharp practices)? I had a look on ofgem website and it is clearly not interested in hearing from consumers.

    I am going to contact First Utility to see if they are interested in offering the better deal to me, otherwise its a change (ironically) back to my previous supplier.
  • sy123
    • #4
    • 23rd Apr 13, 7:10 AM
    • #4
    • 23rd Apr 13, 7:10 AM
    From the title of your tariff it probably doesn't have a lock-in period, ( Read your T & C's to confirm this or phone FU )

    But even if does, the price rise gives you a 'Get-out-of-jail-free' card - If there is a lock in you must Write/Email FU saying you reject the price rise and are arrangeing to Switch, with this notice FU must continue to charge your present prices till the Switch is complete
    Originally posted by dogshome
    There was a lock in or more precisely a penalty fee if you left within 3 months. Other than that I think you can just leave .. although I have to read the old conditions.
    • MillicentBystander
    • By MillicentBystander 23rd Apr 13, 8:00 AM
    • 3,450 Posts
    • 2,225 Thanks
    MillicentBystander
    • #5
    • 23rd Apr 13, 8:00 AM
    • #5
    • 23rd Apr 13, 8:00 AM
    It really is about time OFGEM looked at this sort of practice.
    • bellandbottle
    • By bellandbottle 23rd Apr 13, 8:17 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    bellandbottle
    • #6
    • 23rd Apr 13, 8:17 AM
    Just Talked to FU
    • #6
    • 23rd Apr 13, 8:17 AM
    I waited 10 minutes to talk to First Utility, and I was informed that:
    1) the V12 deal dies in June
    2) the next best deal is V15
    3) there are no penalties for moving

    I will need to cast around now to find out what the best deals are elsewhere. I must admit to feeling a bit of a prat at being caught out like this - though I did get the wine!
    Last edited by bellandbottle; 23-04-2013 at 8:18 AM. Reason: Update
    • bellandbottle
    • By bellandbottle 23rd Apr 13, 8:33 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    bellandbottle
    • #7
    • 23rd Apr 13, 8:33 AM
    • #7
    • 23rd Apr 13, 8:33 AM
    This is an update to my recent post.

    When I got off the phone to FU, I received an email telling me of the current deals on offer.

    The cost of the iSave Everyday (the one they were switching me to) for our usage would be 1272.

    The cost of iSave V15 would be 1192

    I really don't understand what is going on here.
  • James Lahey
    • #8
    • 23rd Apr 13, 10:24 AM
    • #8
    • 23rd Apr 13, 10:24 AM
    I also switched at the end of last year and got this mail today. Pretty sure I was also "tied" in for 3 months and would imagine this hike is designed to catch people who can't be bothered changing again.

    40 cashback tracked and confirmed but not payable yet... according to the email "If you do decide to leave us before these prices come into effect, you need to you let us know on or before the 1st June 2013." So think I'll leave it a few weeks to see if TCB clear my payment before switching.

    I would be grateful if others who are migrating could post the best deal they find (I usually factor in cashback at 80% chance of getting it and am a member of the main cashback sites.)
  • Wywth
    • #9
    • 23rd Apr 13, 10:59 AM
    • #9
    • 23rd Apr 13, 10:59 AM
    ...
    I would be grateful if others who are migrating could post the best deal they find (I usually factor in cashback at 80% chance of getting it and am a member of the main cashback sites.)
    Originally posted by James Lahey
    I suggest you consult a comparison site, hopefully like you did when you chose FU in the first place.

    Other posters posting their choice, unless they are in the same supply region and consume exactly the same amount of energy per year in kWh, are unlikley to help you
  • James Lahey
    Ty Wywth, good point.

    I did (and will) check the comparison sites carefully before clearing details and finalising through the site with the best cashback rate.

    lol @ the acronym for this company, exactly what I though when I saw the new rates!
  • Former MSE Darryl
    MSE News: First Utility customers face 18.6% price hikes
    "32,000 First Utility customers will be hit with massive jumps in their energy bills from 1 June...."

    Read the full story:

    First Utility customers face 18.6% price hikes



    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.

    Last edited by Former MSE Darryl; 23-04-2013 at 3:55 PM.
  • oldnthrifty
    Unbelievable, I think this is a diabolical breakdown of trust for a Utility supplier. I will be leaving First Utility....don't care what they offer me!!

    I feel like I have opened another bank acct rather than a utility company.....Trust? (I think its still in the dictionary).
    It is a Camels temperament that has truly endeared the camel to man.
    Docile and sweet under a caring hand.
    But stubborn and angry if ill treated.
    the camel both wins your heart and your respect.
  • oldnthrifty
    Just got off the phone....yes I got through.

    Explained that I had joined the V12 as a good deal but did not expect to be automatically placed on a standard expensive deal. Stated that I would be leaving first utility on the changeover date, Manager stated that the system changes it to the standard tariff automatically.

    Suggested that the manager reads the MSE forums and articles.

    I shall be leaving First Utility "Automatically"
    It is a Camels temperament that has truly endeared the camel to man.
    Docile and sweet under a caring hand.
    But stubborn and angry if ill treated.
    the camel both wins your heart and your respect.
    • jimbo_the_jetset
    • By jimbo_the_jetset 24th Apr 13, 7:37 AM
    • 670 Posts
    • 293 Thanks
    jimbo_the_jetset
    How as a customer should I be reading this in the press before I have been informed by the company which I have a contract with.

    Already planning my switch
  • woodhead722
    How as a customer should I be reading this in the press before I have been informed by the company which I have a contract with.

    Already planning my switch
    Originally posted by jimbo_the_jetset
    I received my notification by email last night.
    Don't you usually receive emails e.g. telling you when to submit readings, bill ready etc.?

    I'm off too, pity it's been good having the cheapest, and I really like their energy dashboard etc.
  • Wywth
    How as a customer should I be reading this in the press before I have been informed by the company which I have a contract with.

    Already planning my switch
    Originally posted by jimbo_the_jetset
    Notifications of price changes by many suppliers are often given in advance to the press under embargo.

    When the embargo expires, the press are permitted to publish the press release.
    At the same time, many suppliers will also publish the same price change on their own website, and other locations they may use (e.g. press adverts ... but not many pay to advertise nowadays when the press will freely publish the details as part of a press release)

    Notifications to customers also commence, either by electronic means or conventional post.

    Electronic notifications are often staggered over a period of hours, even days to avoid overloading the internet/mail servers
    (The MSE weekly email does not go out to all recipients in one go for a similar reason)

    The same may be true with postal notifications,. but even if they were all dispatched the same day, it would be a day or three before recipients receive such notification through their letter box.

    So yes, it's all quite normal.
    The press are there to keep you informed of the news. If you already know about something, it's no longer news.
    Last edited by Wywth; 24-04-2013 at 8:51 AM.
    • stoneman
    • By stoneman 24th Apr 13, 8:51 AM
    • 4,288 Posts
    • 3,231 Thanks
    stoneman
    I haven't received any notification of this. I did receive last night an email saying that for one month only they are upping my DD by 50 to help offset the increased cost of the longer than expected cold spell!
    The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.
  • vieyrad
    I received my email yesterday and checked their iSave Fixed V8 and it is way down the list of best deals. Signed up to EDF fixed to Feb 2015 as they have no exit penalty so if a better deal is on offer I can switch. They must be confident they will offer the best deal over the next two years which gives me confidence to switch. Pity first utility have upped the price so much as I liked getting a monthly bill and had no problems with them. I never bother to contact the company as they have already given me the best options they have. Also need to move fast to get the best deal as I know to my cost deals are pulled without notice.
  • wjay152
    18.6% does not tell the whole truth . The increase in my electricity unit price is 65% !!!!!! and gas is 5 % . !!!! Turpin would have been proud of these thieves. They even asked me to pay a additional one off 35 last month because the 'continuing cold weather was putting my account at risk of underpayment '
    The problem with these people is that you cannot have a conversation with them , they simply quote what they said to you last time and the time before if you try to talk to them about anything . They also use a high cost phone line .
    I will leave them as soon as possible ie in credit .
  • Wywth
    18.6% does not tell the whole truth . The increase in my electricity unit price is 65% !!!!!! and gas is 5 % . !!!! Turpin would have been proud of these thieves. They even asked me to pay a additional one off 35 last month because the 'continuing cold weather was putting my account at risk of underpayment '
    The problem with these people is that you cannot have a conversation with them , they simply quote what they said to you last time and the time before if you try to talk to them about anything . They also use a high cost phone line .
    I will leave them as soon as possible ie in credit .
    Originally posted by wjay152


    According to their website,
    http://www.first-utility.com/contact-us
    their phone number is a geographic phone number
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