Home energy – an industry where customer retention no longer matters

Like so many people across the UK, I recently changed my home energy provider. You know the situation…you’ve been with your supplier for quite a while, and a few weeks before your contract is due to end, you get a reminder. You start looking at their renewal deals, because you know you’ll end up being whacked pretty hard financially if you do nothing.

My existing supplier was E.ON. I’d been with them for a couple of years and was reasonably happy with my dual fuel contract. But when I looked at their renewal offers, I was pretty horrified. I was going to be paying a lot more.

I didn’t sign up for a new E.ON deal, and decided to wait. But then, a couple of weeks later, as the renewal date loomed large, I went online again and to my horror found that the E.ON deals I’d seen before had all gone, and I was being offered contracts that were even more costly.

Honestly I would have been happy to stay with E.ON, but their renewal approach to a reasonably loyal existing customer like me was just so disappointing. I was going to be paying over £300 a year more for my energy if I stayed with them. At this point, I started to look around at other suppliers, and came across a company I had heard of but knew little about, called Octopus Energy, who were offering some really competitive deals.

It Pays to Look Around

I was a bit hesitant at first to jump ship and sign up with Octopus. They haven’t been around very long and I wasn’t sure if they are a serious player in the domestic energy market. I did some searches to see what people were saying about Octopus and was pleasantly surprised to find that they have a lot of very positive comments from their customers, not just about their prices, but about their very responsive customer service. One of the sites I looked at was this Octopus Energy Review which was very helpful.

I’m kind of sceptical about any of the big energy suppliers actually being able to deliver good customer service, but what I saw about Octopus was very positive. Then came the clincher – Octopus were offering a tariff in which all the electricity consumed in our home was coming from renewable sources. I took the plunge and signed up with them.

The process of transferring from E.ON to Octopus ran smoothly and I’m happy that I made the switch. I still wonder though why E.ON made so little effort to keep me as a customer. I guess this happens to thousands of people in the UK every day, but it’s a bit of a mystery to me why big energy suppliers are so relaxed about losing their customers. They may never return.

Steve Shaw

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