Todays big talking point, following publication of an investigation by theÂ Competition and Markets Authority, is that more than 9 out of 10 peopleÂ are losing out by not constantly switching energy suppliers.Â The findings are that the ‘big six’ energy companies charge long term customers more than new customers, and therefore we should be switching regularly to maximise our savings.
Isn’t that rather missing the point, though?
What it says is what I’ve been saying for some time; companies have forgotten what customer loyalty is about, and the importanceÂ of retaining customers. It’s the same all over, in every industry. Look at the latest ads from Virgin or BT or Sky or whoever, and you’ll be promised some shiny incentive for signing up; ‘3 months free’ or something of that ilk. And then after that initial honeymoon period, your costs double. Well of course they fucking do. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Or a free premium movie channel. Or free broadband. They are now going to gouge you to recover the costs of your ‘free’ period! And then they will continually ‘readjust’ their pricing structure for existing customers, putting a few pence on the price of phone minutes or text messages or whatever. Or in the cases of the energy companies, just blatantly overcharging in the first place. British Gas are offering the ‘incentive’ of ‘Fixed fees for 12 months’. Great! Guaranteed to pay the highest tariff in years for your energy needs, since they are now getting gas dirt fucking cheap but not passing those savings on to customers! [...] read more