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OFGEM Issued Provisional Order Against Iresa Banning To Take On New Customers

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OFGEM has issued a provisional order against the domestic energy supplier, banning them from taking on new customers and increasing DD payments for 3 month.

Over this period, Ofgem has ordered Iresa to improve the service it provides to its customers, including in the following ways:

  • extending call centre hours, bringing down average call waiting times to below 5 minutes, and responding to customers who request a call back by the end of the next working day
  •  responding to customer emails within 5 working days
  • clearing a backlog of consumer emails
  • logging and recording all expressions of customer dissatisfaction
  •  acting to manage and identify all of its vulnerable customers, including offering to put them on a priority services register

We are pleased to see OFGEM taking action against suppliers with poor customer services and hope other suppliers will take note and get their house in order.

Customer service has been a problem with many big and small suppliers, domestic and commercial ones. We urge OFGEM to increase its monitoring of all suppliers to check whether they meet expected standards.

The Drawback of P272

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If P272 was meant to save customers on their electricity bills, there is another drawback on this.

Besides the disproportional capacity charges and MOP costs, we found now another problem for small customers.

Various competitive suppliers would not quote for small volumes; so the choice for medium P272 businesses is restricted and the competition not really working for them.

British Gas Business CS Contradicting Letter Sent To Customer

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Our Client received a letter from from British Gas Business confirming termination received.

The letter says: We’re writing to confirm your termination notice has been received and your Fixed Price Energy Plan will end on 5th March 2018. After this date if you haven’t arranged a new Fixed Price Plan … or moved to another supplier, you’ll move on to our variable Plan prices.

Please contact your new supplier to make sure that they don’t request the transfer before 6th March 19.

Yet when speaking to the customer service team the insisted that supply can only move on the 30th March 18 (despite of termination sent 1st Feb and a formal complaint logged) and the current objection will be upheld if applied for earlier transfer.

It would help if British Gas would get the dates right and clarify the actual date the new supplier can apply for to avoid unnecessary/unjustified objections.

Warning: British Gas Business Pushing For Winback Contracts

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British Gas Business called today a customer offering to winback a gas contract that had been signed with a competitor.

Even after being told that the contract had been confirmed and locked-in with the other supplier, they still continued to offer to retain the business.

This practice is unethical, illegal and most of all could cost the customer thousands of pounds in termination fees.

Many suppliers have a clause that would allow them to charge hefty termination fees in the region of 30% of the contract value if the registration is being objected to and the contract fails to go through.

We therefore warn all customers that once a contract has been signed and confirmed not to agree an alternative contract under any circumstances.

We also hope that OFGEM will once again look into such practice and fine suppliers that cause customers to pay termination fees.

OFGEM Allows Npower To Test Reminding Customers Closer To Their Renewal Dates

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OFGEM just announced that they are allowing Npower to trial sending out renewal reminders to domestic customers between 35 and 21 days instead of the statuary 42 to 49 days prior the renewal date.

It is argued that customer’s may more likely take action closer to the renewal date.

This statement has implication in the commercial utility market, too. As customers often take their time from acting on a renewal quote thinking there is still time. But in reality the earlier you decide on your future energy contract the less likely customers will encounter problems such as delays and out-of-contract periods.

Beware Of The Little Tick!

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Were are currently being inundated by data managing companies offering us to purchase 1000’s of customers details with consumption and renewal information.

Apparently this info was collected by business energy comparison websites where customers opted-in for their information to be shared with carefully selected companies for marketing purposes.

It remains questionable whether customers have indeed knowingly agreed for all their details to be passed on to any interested party offering to pay for them.

Alpine Utilities will never share customer’s details with other parties unless for the purpose of obtaining quotes and processing supply & service contracts. By default we select customer does not wish to be contacted for marketing purposes.

Successful Trials With CMOL’s

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OFGEM has now published results of their trials sending out cheapest market offer letters to customers on the most expensive standard variable tariff for at least a year.
3.4% of customers who received a supplier branded letter switched to a cheaper tariff compared to just 1% of customers not receiving one.
It is clear that more can and needs to be done to get all millions of customers, still overpaying for their energy, to engage in the market.
What is true in the domestic market also applies with commercial customers only the stakes are much higher.
Call Alpine Utilities today for competitive rates on your water & energy.

Eon to Pass Trough Black Start Charges

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Eon have just informed brokers & customers that they will be invoicing for Black Start Charges incurred by National Grid that have worked out £117.23m above the forecasted costs.
Customers will be receiving reconciliation invoices to recover much of this extra distribution cost at 0.016p per kWh for all electricity used between April 16 and March 17. This is just £16 per 100’000kwh
As this is fully within eon’s T&C’s there is little customers can do to avoid this charge.
We have yet to be informed by other suppliers how they will react to these results.

Conveyancing Solicitors Should Request Exact Meter Locations From Property Sellers

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A customer called Alpine Utilities urgently as he received an unexpected high electricity bill for the past 2 years since he moved into the property.
The previous occupier never gave the supplier a final reading and the new tenant could not locate the electricity meter; the suppliers also had no record of its location.
One day an elderly gentleman turned up to take a meter reading and claimed to remember from some years ago the meter may be in the adjacent storage container belonging to a neighbor.
We believe the seller of the property was at fault for not informing the buyer of the meter location.
It should become standard that conveyancing Solicitors will request this info from the seller prior to completion.

Customer Pays £1400 Too Much On Capacity Charges for Years

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Alpine Utilities have recently discovered how a customer of another reputable brokerage is paying over the odds on capacity charges they don’t need. Almost 10 years the developers rated the educational site at 275kVA we have now confirmed it uses no more than 134kVA.

Reducing their availability could save them over £1400 per annum, yet the current broker sends the customer the monthly electricity bill with their logo saying validated but never bothered to check the maximum demand.

Once again Alpine Utilities’ professionalism has been proven to be far ahead of it’s competitors!