Yay, you’re in for a mini rant today! I was asked to write a post about negotiating your utility bills recently (actually it is a video, so if you want to see how I should really better remain a writer, knock yourselves out!), and thought it would be a good time to practice what I teach, and check that I was indeed on the cheapest tariff possible.
My electric provider, EDF, had that cool “Price Promise” thing where they promise they will let you know about any cheaper tariff from any other provider, if said tariff is over £1 a week cheaper than what they actually offer.
My Price Promise expires in December 2014, so I thought I was good for another couple of months, but decided to have a look anyway since
– A £50 yearly saving is always good to take and under what they would warn me about, so I could check for that.
– There was a £16 cashback offer on Quidco if you used Energylinx to switch (single fuel, it is £32 for dual fuel switches), so even if the other company’s rate were just £35 cheaper, I would get a £51 saving.
I was not going to bother switching for £20 or less, and the last time I had checked, which may have been about 9 months ago, I was on the second cheapest rate by £5, so I had left things the way they were.
That said, switching is pretty easy nowadays, and you can do it all online in just a few clicks, so if you really like to save money, or really need the fiver, you can switch in 20 minutes, still a good £15 per hour rate.
OK so here I was on Energylinx, and to my surprise, there was a rate £58.78 cheaper than my “Price Promise”. So I decided I would still lose another 10 minutes and check out WTF with EDF. Turns out the rep was “very sorry” and “turned on the notifications on my email so next time I am warned about better rates”. Wow, that is some loosy customer service.
I tried to explain to the rep that £58 was almost two months worth of electricity, since my lovely tenants are pretty reasonable with their usage, so it was kind of a big deal that they didn’t live up to their promise, but I was talking to a wall.
Obviously, I proceeded to switched and moved over to E-On. They are not promising anything, so there should be no let down there.
If you are looking to switch, I recommend you check Quidco por potential added cashback. Npower has £70 cashback on quidco so even if they aren’t the cheapest, they may be once you factor in cashback.
E-on wasn’t offering cashback, but Uswitch, Energylinx and other similar sites were offering £12-£16. So I just saved £58 on the rate, got £16 cashback, and content for an angry post, win win win. By the way also look up your commercial mail folder for emails from Quidco if you haven’t used it in a while, they are increasing cashback by £10 if you come back to them.
I guess you can never believe the promises of a provider that says they will warn you if you are better off switching elsewhere, so lesson learned!
Related: how I pay £5 for broadband
When did you last check you were paying the best rate on utilities and broadband? Do you think EDF did it on purpose?