If my experience is anything to go by, plenty!!!
A long time ago, okay January this year, I decided to switch tariff with my existing supplier. So they didn’t need any extra details, they weren’t acquiring a new customer or anything. In fact they did pay me £30 to change and cut my bill, does that customer retention strategy make sense to you? surely offering cheaper bills would have sufficed?
I was slightly concerned when it took 10 days to set my account on-line, considering I had entered all details on-line and I was an existing customer. They wrote to me, paper AND e-mail, my new accounts (gas and electricity) were now ready on-line, only they weren’t; they hadn’t copied the information across, that took o further 24 hours to sort out, they wrote, it was all checked and working.
Only it wasn’t, there’s a pattern here, the electricity account couldn’t be viewed as it wasn’t linked to my details. So another three days delay to get my accounts working – 14 days in total for a customer they already had.
Then 4 weeks later they sent me an e-mail about their latest energy offers!! addressed to my e-mail account but with the contact details of the previous homeowner, she left in 2004!!
Then I get a letter about their latest price increases, the ones they advertised in Jan that made me move my tariff, it’s taken them over 6 weeks to get a letter out to their own customers – why didn’t they use e-mail? (Cheaper and faster). Anyone else get the idea I’m a bit worried as to how incompetent this company can be, so I write to the chief exec.
He thanks me for my contact and that they have passed on my thoughts and have ensured that my e-mail details are now correct.
Guess what? they weren’t! Two weeks ago I get an e-mail to my e-mail address but with the previous occupant again named in the text. Then 3 days later as part of their drive to reduce energy costs they send 4 “free” energy saving bulbs to my house. “Free” – I paid for them in my bill didn’t I? what would their shareholders say? giving things away for free!
I go online to complain only to find that 8 weeks previously they have closed my gas account with one credit figure in it (what they owe me!) and replaced it with a new account with a lower amount in the credit figure.
Did they write and tell me about this? Have I complained? I wrote to the chief exec again, he has his own team dealing with complaints, tells you all you need to know, doesn’t it?
+ positives they lower my bills and pay me £30
– negatives they fail to set up accounts correctly, link my details to the previous occupant, send me “free” lightbulbs, close one account and open another one, without telling me!. Do I think they could improve their processes and customer management?
Oh and all the while this has gone on my monthly bill has risen just shy of 50% – how much of that is an incompetency based price rise rather than a market based one, I’m not sure, I hate to think about how much waste exists in that particular organisation.
While the global energy prices are “rising” who knows and who cares – they don’t appear to!!