Update 3 : Switching- How Hard Can It Be ?
I am guessing that Energy Providers possibly employ more lawyers than Customer Service staff, so I am not going to mention names here, just our honest experience ! Those cute adverts with the Meerkats will have you believe that you can switch energy providers in a blink of an eye…..How I wish this were true !
We had an energy provider with a pretty good deal for our electricity at 11.9 p/kWh and when we started our building project, we made the decision to move to three phase supply to accommodate kits like our car chargers. When we enquired how to get three phase, we understood it to be complex requiring the synchronization of electricity supply company, our meter provider and our own electrician all on the same day.
We made a plan with all three for a given date and as the date approached, unfortunately our meter company went bust and we were automatically switched to another company, without our say! The new company increased the price but would not honour the date and pushed the next date into the new year! OK, we thought, we will switch suppliers and get one who can do it earlier. Well you can’t, you have to wait 28 days to switch again!
Twenty painful calls later and we were only able to get a technician out to shut off our gas supply and so whilst we had him here, we got him to schedule a day to do our three phase switch with his supervisor, hurray ! So on the day in question the electricity supply company came out switched our supply but were not able to reconnect us up legally until the meter company came out to install the new meter. But the meter company did not show, eventually we got through to them to learn that they had decided unilaterally to switch the date to six weeks later without telling anyone else !
With the sun going down without power, we called the emergency numbers and found them to be hopeless. The recorded message went “If you can smell gas or are have no power……please wait 50 minutes and then we will tell you nothing can be done this evening !!!” …so we spent Halloween by authentic candlelight !
So after than 36 hours without power, we are back on line and with the 28 days now up, we thought we would switch to another meter company that could preferably could spell “Customer” …but as soon as we mentioned “Three Phase” …it left them squirming.
So what has the government’s switching concept achieved ? Price switching, customer churning, cost hiding complexity raising chaos...I hope the rest of our journey will be easier!