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Stop telling consumers to switch now says Extra Energy

extra energy logoExtra Energy have called for a time limit to be placed on the push to get consumers to switch suppliers so that they can build trust with customers.

Ben Jones, Extra Energy’s managing director of operations explained:

“It’s all too easy to say let’s encourage switching because that creates competition and competition drives prices down, and that’s right, but who wants to live in a world where you’re having to switch prices on everything every five minutes?”

He believes that having to switch suppliers at the end of every contract doesn’t benefit the customer in the long term.

We think he’s slightly mad. We have all been told that remaining with your current supplier and not shopping around, opens you up to out of contract rates and higher tariffs. Why on earth would you not switch and save money?

Jones clarifies by suggesting that suppliers inform customers of the cheapest market tariffs on their bills even if it is with a rival supplier. He believes this will help build trust and brand loyalty.

“We would really encourage the rest of the market to publish what the best deal is at any one time.”

“If consumers can build trust in us because we are offering really competitive tariffs and we are also telling consumers when we are not offering a competitive tariff, then that builds a loyalty that doesn’t exist in the market at the moment.

“I think we need to put a time limit on how long we are going to be pushing this ‘let’s all switch philosophy’ and at that point consumers need to understand what they get from us both in price and service offering.”

“We need to encourage a lot more switching but ultimately this is about building trust and loyalty between supplier and consumer, and once we can get that relationship to the right place then that’s the panacea. Then energy companies can invest properly in their existing customers.”

We think it’s a nice idea Ben but probably not a realistic one. There’ll still be supplier price wars and consumers are more likely to trust a third party broker to compare energy prices than their invested supplier to give them the best deal.

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