Change Your Energy provider .. it’s so easy RANT

pylon by Yummifruitbat
Pylon courtesy Yummifruitbat wikimedia commons

Oh No It’s NOT!

There – that should be enough of a rant… but I am still reeling after trying to change my energy provider.

It makes me laugh … the government ministers who tell us that to get the best deal we need to swap. The money-saving gurus who say ‘paying too much? – just swap’

To start with it takes six to ten weeks to make the change! What? Really?  By the time your chosen plan is in place it is probably not the best option out there for you anymore.

So do not make the mistake of cancelling your previous plan (this with two weeks notice) before the new energy provider is poised to take you over… otherwise in the interim you’ll get put on your old supplier’s highest rate going .. until the change.

OK, so ours was more complicated. To start with we were changing from a business rate to a domestic rate… and then we do have two meters. However this did not stop British Gas poaching us a few years back (All the husband  did was to ask for details to be sent to our address… next thing we know we started getting bills from British gas and our previous supplier had not even sent a letter asking why we were changing)

But now, when I want to change and have taken hours sorting out the best options for the two different meters online – and after an exhaustive (and exhausting)  two hour phone call (free number thankfully) in which I have to give all readings for both meters for a minimum six month period and they work out some complicated set of figures to give a direct debit amount … and a two week wait, they sent an email saying the contract was cancelled as they could not take over a business meter.

What? It was changing to domestic metering that meant the previous suppliers were no longer competitive in the first place. This meant I had to go back to my original supplier and ask that they change the record on the data bank to say it was no longer a business meter. Once this was done  (took a week) I contacted my chosen new supplier.  Now could they give us the plans we wanted? …. well, only after we go through EVERYTHING AGAIN! as they had deleted everything when the contract was cancelled….. except – get this – when it came to my direct debit details … well they had kept those!

OK, so we go through everything, including the figures and the sums. The guy on the phone reads through everything he has put into the new contract. This will be sent by email for me to agree. I wait .. two weeks … the contract arrives. It is WRONG in just about every way possible. They have listed one meter twice.. and applied two different plans to it (impossible) and then set ridiculously low direct debits. I mean, I’d love it if my electricity bills really were £1.97  and £7.45  a MONTH (for the respective meters) but I know, and any fool would know, that is ridiculously low.

Back to the phones…. and yes, they want to cancel this contract and start again. I baulk! I do not have unlimited time ( or patience) eventually they say they can ‘save’ the contract and insert the correct details as I have them written down (I’d jotted down the salient points when it was read back to me… meter numbers against direct debit amounts etc)

Now I am still here, still waiting ( it seems that I have to wait the cooling off period before they send me a copy of the new contract.. as it isn’t a new contract but an amended one) I pointed out that I cannot agree or disagree with a contract that I have not seen written and, as the last one was such a disaster I am certainly not going to.

By Friday I ought to have sight of the contract… by mid April we might be with the new supplier (this from a process started in January) and hereby ends the rant 🙂

Anyone else out there been changing energy suppliers?

Any tips for unwary swappers?

Do share – you know I love to hear from you!

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7 thoughts on “Change Your Energy provider .. it’s so easy RANT

  1. The thing that bugged me the most when looking was the inability to find the actual tarrifs and daily charges from the different companies! You seem to be relying on comparison sites to compare totals, and who’s to say there’s nothing underhand going on……..

    • Hi WILLIAM, Sorry for the delay in replying (WordPress playing up – didn’t show me the responses! Anyway Thank you for your comment!

      I agree, I was skeptical about comparison sites… and even suspected that going via them (ie clicking on their links) would still lead to a higher rate than if I went into the energy suppliers independently. So I did the latter (having sorted out which ones should suit me best) but, I have to report, the fee structures and costs were still the same.

  2. Blimey! I’ve got a headache just reading of your rigmarole!! It is at times like this when I am almost glad that I have no choice as far as energy suppliers goes….when you live as far off the beaten track as I do, the only choice is energy or, no energy 🙂

    • HI Christine,
      I dread to think what it would have been like if I had gas and electricity to sort out! (No gas here despite the main gas line through to Callington passes through about a mile from the village!)
      BTW Sorry for the delay in replying (WordPress playing up – didn’t show me the responses!)

  3. Hi Ann
    Sorry to hear about the problems changing supplier… I have to say we’ve done it a couple of times now without any problem at all. Perhaps you ought to consider using the cooling off period to look at a different supplier altogether?
    Our motivation for changing was environmental rather than financial – We have opted for Ecotricity who also claim to be as cheap as the biggest suppliers!
    Good Energy also supply green electric and gas too…
    Good luck anyway
    Nicky x

    • HI Nicky,
      I looked at the eco electricity options and liked them… unfortunately all those that suited also had get-out payments … and as we may be having to move within the for-see-able future I didn’t want to get locked in. *sigh* just another variable! As for gas – see the reply to Christine – no gas in this village 🙂 … apart from when I let off steam with a rant hehe 🙂

      BTW Sorry for the delay in replying (WordPress playing up – didn’t show me the responses!)

  4. Hi WILLIAM, Sorry for the delay in replying (WordPress playing up – didn’t show me the responses! And now isn’t linking into YOUR response *Sigh* ) Anyway Thank you for your comment!

    I agree, I was skeptical about comparison sites… and even suspected that going via them (ie clicking on their links) would still lead to a higher rate than if I went into the energy suppliers independently. So I did the latter (having sorted out which ones should suit me best) but, I have to report, the fee structures and costs were still the same.

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