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Utility Warehouse Discount Club: Just don’t. For your own sanity.

I’ve tried reviewing their ‘services’ on various real review sites, but they have an army of agents who scour sites daily and complain to the review sites whenever they find bad reviews. But one thing they can’t do is tell me to take down a review on my own site! And if they do, I guarantee they will be offended at the forthright nature of my response! Admittedly, it will likely have a lot less impact here, but if I can warn off one potential customer, then it’s all worth it, right?

So who are the Utility Warehouse Discount Club? They masquerade as a service supplier, offering consolidated management of your various utility services; phone, broadband, gas, electric etc. The more services you have with them, the more you supposely save. That’s what they’ll tell you. You can save even more money by introducing friends to them. All sounds very convenient and great, doesnt it?

What they don’t tell you is that every other monthly bill you’ll receive they will have ‘revised their pricing’ until you’re paying way over the price of their competitors. Mine rose so much over the short time I’ve been with them that I could now get the same services from almost any other provider far cheaper.

They also basically operate as a pyramid scheme where they charge inflated prices for services to offset the discounts they’re able to offer for ‘introducing friends’. As you convince more suckers to switch to their utterly shit company, you get a discount proportional to the amount that THEY spend with the company. And so it goes on down the chain of victims. You can even become a Utility Warehouse Discount Club ‘authorised distributor’ and earn cash from referrals. All you need is a complete lack of morals and scruples, and a desire to fuck people over for money.

This is what provides them with their loyal army of snitches who make sure that nothing bad appears about them online – it is of course in their interest that they protect the reputation of the company. They also manage to completely unbalance and obscure the search results for Utility Warehouse Discount Club by running their own ‘authorised distributor’ web sites singing their praises. They even have a neat ‘dirty tricks’ tactic – their OWN websites are called things like ‘Utility Warehouse Scam’, which then go to great lengths to convince you that no, it’s not a scam! Thus obscuring results for any real sites exposing them as a scam. Clever.

In fact, Utility Warehouse Discount Club are simply an ‘umbrella’ for a bunch of 3rd party offerings brought together under one name. Their phone lines and broadband, for example, are really from a company called Telecoms Plus. Who ultimately lease their services directly from BT. The trouble with this kind of arrangement is that all you’re really doing is introducing yet-another-middleman (or in this case, two) into the mix, so that if you have a problem with your broadband (which for me is an almost weekly occurence) you need to phone their own dire support – because you’re ‘their’ customer – who basically will brush you off by explaining that, really, your broadband is fuck all to do with them.

Indeed, on the numerous occasions my broadband has been down for days, weeks and even months at a time (it took me over two months of daily, dogged persistence and dozens and dozens of calls to their support to resolve an issue with my broadband running less than 1/10th it’s proper speed), ultimately, it’s a BT Openreach engineer they send out when you can finally convince them that the problem is not going to go away on its own. So conveniently for them, yes, you’re their customer, but the blame ALWAYS lies elsewhere, and as such it’s ALWAYS completely out of their hands.

If you report a broadband fault – and you will… often – after running you through the scripted  set of ‘tests’ (ask them a question that’s not on the script, and they’re utterly stumped), they’ll conclude that your router (supplied by them) is faulty, and send you a new one. Pretty sure this is more to get you off their backs for 3 or 4 days while you’re waiting for the delivery of your replacement router than because they ever believe it will solve the problem.

To give you some idea of the frequency and extent of the issues I’ve had, they have supplied me with 8 replacement routers in 2 years… and not one single time has the replacement router solved the issue. Also, unlike most other companies, they don’t arrange for collection or return of the old equipment, and you’re expected to return them at your own expense, the postage cost of which they may (if you argue long and hard enough) credit back to your monthly bill sometime in the future.

Oh, also, on two of those occasions, the model of router they supplied me was confirmed to be incompatible with the Xbox360 and PS3. On complaining to UWDC about this, they said that they made absolutely no promises about what equipment their service would work with. When I asked was it not reasonable to assume that I could use two of the world’s most popular online gaming services on their broadband, they said ‘no’… and then proceeded to advise me that if I used my OWN compatible router, they would be under no obligation to provide me with further support.

All of which adds up to why I’m in the process of switching my service back to BT following discovering that just for a change I have yet another broadband problem (which is a carbon copy of the previous fault that dragged on for 2 months).

Ironically, I left BT for UWDC because of their dire service, but frankly it just makes far more sense to go right to the source whenever I have any issues, rather than putting 2 other middleman companies between me and my real supplier, each of which can compound and create their own issues (e.g. some of my problems have been due to admin problems that UWDC or Telecoms Plus have caused where they’ve incorrectly matched my line to my broadband and blocked or severely restricted my service). Especially when UWDC support have no real ability to help you, even if they ever actually showed any interest in helping you, which they dont.

I wouldn’t recommend Utility Warehouse Discount Club to my worst enemy, let alone a friend. If you value your sanity, don’t listen to a bunch of bullshit about how great they are and how much you can save. It’s all lies. Go to ANY other service provider safe in the knowledge that you can’t possibly have a worse experience!

Btw, ‘representatives’ of UWDC need not apply to my moderated comments for this post. You won’t get to have your say here. Your lies are spread far enough as it is.

37 Comments

  1. I agree, had it and it was rubbish, who needs the middle man and its very miss leading. There is a man at work who sells for them and he talks crap, thanks for this info i can know tell him where to **** it when he talks about it again.

  2. Sorry for the alias, but as a very angry customer trying to leave UTW, I just wanted to add that I’ve had a very bad experience with them. They were fine while I was with them, but I’m guessing that they get “lowest rates” by only charging you 50% of what you owe – then when you want out, they slap you with the other 50%! At least, that’s what has happened to me…

    I’d kept up on my bills just fine, but when I left, they did this “budget plan reconciliation” which left me somehow owing over £1300 all at once – and this was after being with them for only a year – so they were undercharging me about the same as they had been billing me.

    Then, they wouldn’t even let me leave. All other companies I’ve dealt with have accepted my word that I had left the premises, only asking for final readings and info as to who was on the bill after me (in owner/occupier situations). Not UTW. They wouldn’t even accept my tenant’s council tax bill as proof of residence – tried to gain entry into the house to install prepayment meters and won’t allow them to change suppliers. In breech of advice from the CAB… that you are not to be held liable for previous tenant’s unpaid bills.

    OFGEM will be hearing from me about their fraudulent ways.
    Be warned!

  3. Got a nasty feeling that UW is dodgy on several other fronts. The whole MLM, networking-to-sell aspect turns already gullible and vulnerable people into vacuous robots who talk about nothing but UW. They insist on trying to turn you into distributors too, telling you it’d be a great way to make money, pay off debts etc. Much like Amway, Herbalife and other commercial cults, you have to put all your time and money and effort into getting any reward from it, and attend seminars and conferences and keep posting shit about all over facebook. Utterly without scruples, has the capacity to fuck peoples lives up. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it.

  4. Timely advice – got invitation from friend & found it suspect. Many thanks

  5. We have just moved to them and everything is shocking. Having a nightmare sorting this all out. Only found your page by searching utility warehouse are shit and then it was on the second page of search results! Not been much help to my situation but helps me know they are shit & I’m not going mad!!!

  6. I wish I had read this 6 months ago! We’ve had THE worst service from UWClub. We switched to them when we moved house, thinking it would be better to have everything under one banner. So far they’ve refused to acknowledge our electricity meter reading, took 3 months to get internet & phone line installed. The internet is pathetic. We spent over £100 on calls to their telephone script readers in those early days (having no phone line certainly plays to their advantage).
    6 months on and we still haven’t resolved the issues. Who has time for all this?
    Terrible, terrible, terrible. I wouldn’t touch them if they were the last utility company on earth. I’d rather go without.

  7. I switched over to them 18 months ago and they have been great. My bills are much cheaper, I get cashback from most of my shopping which makes the bill even cheaper and for the 1 problem I’ve had, (the first router they sent didn’t work) they were very helpful and sorted the problem out as quickly as they could.

    Sometimes problems happen, some people just like to moan. I recommended several of my friends and family to the nice man that told me about them and I haven’t heard any of those complaining.

    Some of you must be just unlucky I guess.

    • “Sometimes people just like to moan?” “Some of you must just be unlucky I guess?”

      You fucking dick. EIGHT ROUTERS IN TWO YEARS. Because they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about and just want to shut you the fuck up rather than actually support you.

      And yeah, they were very nice to me when I was signing up, and for the first few weeks while it actually worked.

      Just wait til it all goes tits up. Just wait til it goes tits up for your (soon to be ex) friends you’ve recommended.

      Anyway, I’ve wasted as much breath on these cunts as I’m going to. Except to say that UWDC and all their pyramid scheme lackeys deserve to die horribly.

  8. You are absolutely right, real con artists, I have been paying £300 monthly for gas, electricity and house phone only, they have just sent me my bill for this month and it is over £1,500, I immediately cancelled my direct debit and e mailed them to say I am seeking legal advice, luckily my daughter is a detective on the fraud squad so is putting me in touch with the best available, I will post the outcome and where you can get help.

  9. I am switching back to my original individual providers as I couldn’t convince myself there was any benefit in having everything under one umbrella. I was persuaded to switch in a weak moment and regretted it from the outset. The discount card is just gimmicky IMO. Lots of businesses do this now and it costs them nothing. Don’t like the method of marketing either… If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

  10. How to influence people and lose friends. They’re just the legal side of Pyramid selling and for Christ’s sake read EVERY WORD of their contract smallprint before throwing them out the door. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!

  11. They don’t promise to be the cheapest but to be a certain percentage cheaper than the average so you should definitely be able to use a cheaper supplier. I think they maintain it will work out cheaper in the long run but I can’t see how – just use the cheapest and keep switching. Loyalty doesn’t pay these days.

    In my opinion, the only thing worth having is the cashback card – which you don’t get unless you sign-up for services. However, there is a loophole – sign-up and include the cashback card, then cancel everything within the cooling off period EXCEPT the cashback card. That way you have a nice cashback card and because they can’t set the redemption against your bill (because you don’t have any services with them) they will have to credit the cashback to your bank account!

    Play them at their own game!

  12. This blog posting is so true…. the Utility Warehouse are a bunch of scammers.

    I got suckered into a 12 month contract when I was told that I was on a rolling contract and could leave any time I wanted.

    Instead they hood winked me into a 12 month contract. Not only that but you have to pay them to leave. They send you no paperwork what soever because they are a penny pinching company and want to do everything by free e-mail.

    The so called friend that convinced me to sign up with them has clearly now been told to go **** himself and to never contact me again.

    Not only that but you have to give them 30 days notice to cancel with them and pay them a £10 disconnection fee which they don’t put on to the bill at the end of the 30 days notice that you have giving them.

    I phoned the ****wits up and told them that I had put up with their **** for 13 ******* months now ( including the 30 days notice ) and their was no ******* way that I was going to mess around with these ****wits for another month for them to finally bill me for a £10 disconnection fee.

    I made sure I paid that £10 disconnection fee that ******* day and the recorded every phone call with them and told them they will be going on ****ing YouTube if they continue to **** me around.

    STAY AWAY FROM THEM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. I just got a recruitment e-mail from them and doing my research I’ve seen heaps of people trying to convince others to join but it all just makes sense now, I don’t even live in the UK, recruited only because of my .UK email address. I take pride in my amazing internet, I could never deal with such a horrible company. Thanks for the warning

  14. Thank god for your blog.
    I was very nearly reeled in today but something just didn’t add up.
    Will be steering well clear of them.
    Thanks

  15. Thanks for this blog. I was approached about being a distributor and felt it was a pyramid type scheme which would rip people off. I googled and could only find lots of forums clearly dominated by agents and the which recommendation, it was that fact that nearly led me in.

  16. PLEASE do not sign up to this company as we did, we are a business and they didn’t charge us the correct VAT for a few months then landed us with a large bill which we couldn’t pay, ended up with payment plan, fine but attitude is horrendous. Anyway recently happened again as been undercharging us for a year so we get a huge bill that we can’t pay but NO payment plan allowed they are so unhelpful and attitude is just not what you expect from a large company- watchdog here I come!!

  17. I was once a distributor for UW and I can fully concur with the sentiments of the blog as well as everybody`s comments here. I never signed anybody up because as soon as I had finished my online and classroom training I realised what a total MLM scam this is. Team members pretend to be friendly to each other, but in reality, they are at each other`s throats. The way it allegedly works is that for every customer that the agent signs up, they get a customer signing up (Customer gathering one off bonus) of between £20-£50 with a residual income of between £3-£5 per month per customer. What they don`t tell you is that they can take this off you for the most arbitrary of reasons. For every agent they have under them they get 50p for every customer their agents have. It is run like a cult and the agents that do well are recognised (Brainwashed) on stage therefore leading the other distributors to be brainwashed as well. They rely heavily on selling the products via the cashcard discount scheme as there are no real savings to be made via the services.I thank my lucky stars I didn`t sign anybody up so all my real friendships remain intact. So please AVOID! AVOID! AVOID!

  18. This lady has been bothering me for a year about joining and out of the blues she rang yesterday. Saying I will be investing and will be able to pay for university for my children when the time comes. I thought to myself this woman is too desperate, so I told her I am not interested. So she asked if I know who is complaining that their bills are high or anyone who isn’t working.

  19. Wow
    Thank you everyone
    I nearly got wheeled in to going along with this
    The guy was so lovely but hearing everyone’s feed back Ima stay well clear…
    Thanks everyone
    The information that has been given on here has helped
    Such ashame people are trying to con people

  20. They are using dead celebrities (Terry Wogan) to endorse their website, and when I viewed their tariffs, I do not use a landline, however they would automatically add £16.99 to any bill for this. The discount card is useless, just sign up to top-cashback or an alternative site for free. Again you can get a Taste Card for free, without signing up to these Pyramid selling scum.

  21. I cannot believe that Utility Warehouse is still operating – or that its CEO still happily bleats on about the success of his company as he quotes some past, positive Which? report – I can assure Which? that it has been forever tainted and lost credibility as a result. This is not just about another inadequate energy company – there is a range of outstandingly bad and abusive business practices here, my experience is one of extended, invasive, shockingly distressing treatment that I could not ever have imagined experiencing in my own home – to the point that I actually wanted to relocate rather than remain tied to what amounted to a bunch of criminally insensitive gangsters and their agents unjustifiably mugging me at every turn. My dealings finished with them via a complaint to the ombudsman some time ago but not until I had spent months trying to extricate myself from their clutches. Watch out if you suspend a direct debit for energy costs during a dispute when you catch on to their overcharging scam – like some sort of ransom deal they’ll swiftly cut off your phone and broadband (I lost my long-term land line number in this way as they cut it off and wouldn’t reinstate it unless I paid them £260 to retain the same number, despite the fact that all telecom payment was up to date – I declined to pay in such a way so I lost the home number I’d had for 25 years) – effectively they held my telecoms to ransom while I queried their billing practice for energy – so much for having all utilities conveniently under one roof – convenient for them not you. In my experience this is an extremely odd and dangerous organisation for the consumer – odd because they are arrogantly blasé.in their blatant lying, overcharging and seriously complex (dodgy) billing and harsh actions towards long established householders – whom they are happy to treat as if they were petty criminals when they are challenged at the same time as milking them like cash cows. I had not requested them as my supplier, sadly temporary tenants had switched to them in my absence and UW informed me on my return that they were my supplier from now on. Please be aware that this company’s bully tactics even during an official complaint, include billing customers for huge amounts for so-called site visits by agents who operate on its behalf – without informing you. Charges for these ghosts vary – until you find one day that they claim to have obtained a Warrant to enter your property and install prepayment meters, visit costs and £200 per meter added to your UW bill, against your will and without informing you of the date of any court hearing – to which you would happily have supplied evidence and made a public outcry. They should be prosecuted alone for entering premises without presenting a warrant – neither UW nor the agent they hide behind ever supplied one on the day or after despite repeated requests and promises to do so. Suffering like this at the hands of UW who has long overstepped its remit as a utility company, should genuinely deserve consideration of group action. Even the initial threat of it should wipe the smile off that CEO’s disingenuous face and give Which? some cause to examine the claims of those with an invested interest in them. Clearly customers like me are numerous but have been forced down upon as much as is possible by UW until you’re just relieved to be rid of them. If people who have experienced such extreme behaviour feel they have not been taken into proper consideration and UW continues unabated, it’s no surprise that comments are heated here and elsewhere – they are legitimate expressions of distress. .

  22. Dear Butthurt UWDC Dick Sucking Commentards,
    As I said in the OP, you are wasting your time if you think I’m going to give you a voice here. Your comments WILL end up in the trash. Does that make this a biased account, as is often the accusation levelled? Fuck, yeah… But since you cunts have spread your lies across the rest of the internet in their favour, I’m sure one little bitch blog isn’t going to affect you ripping off your friends and family with their pyramid scam, now is it?

  23. I fully agree that Utility Warehouse is one of the worst broadband providers in the UK , the customer service team sorry Correspondence Administrators ? What ever title that means,go through their textbook protocols and procedures knowing full well that they have control of the internet speed,
    IE when you are performing like a monkey doing their utterly useless and pointless tests they know full well that when they report it to their “tech team” the speed will miraculously go back to reasonable download speed
    usually the very next day.
    I could go on and on however everything that was described above by Acherontiq is absolutely true,especially about the router con,
    Please Please Please avoid this company if you wish a stress free life

  24. By the way your truthful and accurate blog has been shared far and wide 👍

  25. I joined them in May this year. Starting to regret it now. Should have listened to my gut, only my cousin introduced me to it. Had problems with phone not working and Internet playing up, all resolved, but I’m worried now. Kept telling them my call display wasn’t working and they said it must be a problem with my phone. Only today, one of them told me I had to pay 2 quid a month for caller display. I know it’s not much, but who does that? That should be free. Out of work at the minute after finishing uni, and I’m scared if I leave I’ll be dragged through courts because I can’t afford a big bill slapped on me.

  26. Thank you…Having been on the phone to Utility Warehouse for an hour, most of it on hold…Trying to extricate myself from an account wherbey all services were disconnected a year ago, UWDC were notified to collect their meters and didnt bother and the building subsequently being demolished…Yes, they are still billing me!…I have found some solace in reading your blog, so Thank you

  27. Thank you…Having been on the phone to Utility Warehouse for an hour, most of it on hold…Trying to extricate myself from an account whereby all services were disconnected a year ago, UWDC were notified to collect their meters and didnt bother and the building subsequently being demolished…Yes, they are still billing me!…I have found some solace in reading your blog, so Thank you

  28. THE WORST COMPANY I HAVE EVER DEALT WITH IN 63YRS OF LIFE LIKE MANY OF YOU WHO THOUGHT WHAT GREAT IDEA 1 MONTHLY DIRECT DEBIT ………WHAT A BAD DECISION …….DISGRACEFUL CON COMPANY SURPRISED THEY ALLOWED TO CONTINUE RIPPING PEOPLE OFF ……64 & FACING WINTER WITHOUT HEATING UNLESS THEY RELEASE THE CONTRACT WHICH THEY REFUSED TO DO APPROX 2 MTHS AGO

  29. I agree with all the above comments. I was DECEIVED into signing up for UW sims for my mobile because it would reduce the total amount I would pay each month. As a non-techs person I didn’t understand that I would be charged even if I didn’t use it. I know I should have realised this and it’s my fault – but this wasn’t explained to me. I urge other elderly people to take notice of the advice on here and do not touch Utility Warehouse with a ten foot barge pole.

  30. Wow! I am reeling from the comments above! My elderly parents got sucked in by a “friend” and I am appalled by the cost of the electricity 170/month for a small 3 bed cottage. Amount never seems to change during summer when usage drops dramatically and any time they give a reading it seems to go up! Phone bill which is itemised seems to be enormous and plenty of unknown numbers on there. Nobody ever reads the meter either from UW.
    Anyway how do I go about switching? Some scary comments above so is anyone able to suggest a way to go about it?

  31. I have a ‘friend’ trying to get me to sign up, so glad I have not given in after reading this !!! I definitely won’t sign now!!

  32. We signed up for utility warehouse just before Christmas and as the person selling it seemed so genuine & seemed to know his stuff about how much money we would save every month for having all our services with them, we decided to sign up, we received a sim card in the post that we were told we could just “forget about and put it in a drawer” until needed as we wouldn’t be charged for, we were told we would would receive a router in the post that there would be no charge for and that our gas & electric would be so much cheaper
    We phoned our current broadband supplier (virgin media) to cancel and we were informed that we would have to pay £200 to get out of our contract as our contract isn’t up til August, so we contacted utility warehouse and told them this & they informed us that because we had cancelled one service, everything else would be so much higher as you have to have all services with them, so we then decided to cancel the gas & electric with them, well trying to talk to the advisors at utility warehouse is like trying to talk to a brick wall, they don’t listen and constantly talk over you, we eventually got that cancelled, now to the sim card we were told we could “forget about” WHAT A PILE OF BULLSHIT!!!!!!
    No you can’t forget about it as you are charged for this as soon as it is dispatched
    Anyway to try and cut an already long story short, we cancelled everything before we switched properly and I am so glad we did, they are just conning people into paying more money for services that can be obtained from other companies much cheaper and more reliable, I wish we had seen you blog before even starting the sign up as even though we have cancelled everything we are still having trouble with them I.e receiving bills
    AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
    P.s we had to pay for the router and then had to pay to send the router back as they don’t come out to collect the routers which we had to pay postage for

    • Unfortunately, what I said in the original article some years ago still holds true; they are very clever with their marketing… or rather, that their legion of moral and ethic devoid droids manipulate search results for real honest opinions on their shit by posting fake reviews by the thousand and ‘fan sites’. It’s also more than annoying that Which still apparently recommend them. All that really says to me is that Which are likely as unethical as these clowns and that a Which recommendation is available to the highest bidder.

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