Under consideration

Why the penalty should be dropped for existing customers (or how not to treat loyal members)

  • 20 May 2020
  • 8 replies
  • 116 views

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  • Rocket Scientist
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I was going to post this in the main community but decided it might be contentious, and I'm annoyed so the post might have come across as a rant (it still might but not intentionally, it's just a bonus by-product).

This is not aimed at @Marc or @Nataly

It's tin hat time again...sorry nat..

Your loyal long term members stuck with you through a long period of what was relatively high prices compared to other deals they could have had. This was in the expectation that sooner rather than later you would drop your prices. I know that personally I could have saved at least £300 a year (and more) by switching to a respected company, but I hung on as did many others.

Not only was the price drop hugely delayed, to the point where the savings were much less because we were then in the period where the weather had improved, (that upset me), but it wasn't a significant drop. I was and still am disappointed.

Moving on, another price drop and a fixed tariff, this time a little more significant still less of a drop than I was hoping for, but then you not only put a leaving penalty on it for existing customers, but to add insult to injury you also delay them being able to move onto it, thus treating them less favourably than new members.

I'm more upset about the penalty than the 2 week delay, but both are (i.mo.) a shoddy way to treat the customers who have stuck with you.

I think you should seriously consider removing the penalty for customers who have been with you for a period of time (say a year?). It won't cost you anything or very much because those customers who are looking to switch, having been prompted by the new tariff and looked elsewhere, will do (switch), and it will generate some good-will for the customers like me who've stuck it out in the hope that you might be competitive again. At least I (and maybe others) might feel a little more loved (no sarcastic comments allowed- oh OK then go on...)

Also, in my opinion, you need to hopefully confirm that if you were to announce a price change or any new tariff to which existing customers who have chosen the (almost) current 12mo. fix could move to, the customer would be allowed to move to that new tariff without penalty other than, if it be a fixed tariff it would extend their date.


Of course I don't yet know if that will be the case which is why I posted THIS earlier.

At least one company which is reasonably well respected offer a cheaper tariff with no exit penalty.


I will add in fairness that their behaviour on price comparison websites is somewhat questionable because when a new cheaper tariff comes along they don't show it if you are already with them, (I've already raised it as an issue on MSE but it hasn't been fixed - yet...), but that aside they will switch you to the cheaper tariff at no penalty if requested (and there is at least one workaround to the display issue for example by stating your current provider as a different provider)


In the above case if the new tariff is another fixed one the date is extended to the new date. You just have to keep an eye on them. I know this because I look after the energy account of a family member with that company.


Two more really important things that really need fixing, I make no apology for mentioning them again, I genuinely believe you don't realise the potential damage (to PP) both issues can cause, or if you do you haven't done much about it.


1. Members who switch away don't get any warning that their account is going to be crippled. Warning them isn't difficult to do, all you need do is combine it with the email you send to switchers and tell them from when their account will no longer work as it did. Of course the better solution would be not to cripple it in the way you do but more selectively (I suggested that a long time ago).
(That members can no longer see their account history once they apply to switch is indefensible in my opinion anyway.)


2. Members who who have left and who logged in online have no means of communication because wattbot isn't available.


That can only leave a sour taste in the mouth of those who leave. They are less likely to return if they have to jump through hoops to contact you, and I agree with them. You are sending out the message to those customers that they don't matter or you don't care, or both. Queries in those cases are almost always account specific and can't be answered in the community other than a you'll get a final bill in up to 6 weeks. That isn't good enough.

Both of the above are a really big deal for customers and I cannot understand why they aren't or haven't been top of your to do list.

That is all...(for now...)


8 replies

Userlevel 7
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I agree with every word Woz has articulated.
Should there be card stating. Beware when Leaving you will no longer have access to your account or direct account communication. Don't Panick - Please continue to utilise the community, the members will give you the comforting advice you deserve.

Just a thought on the leaving penalty - some form of tapering.......
Why did PP follow the herd on this...puzzles me lots
Userlevel 7
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Hi all

I don't agree with every word of Woz (!!) but I think these are understandable concerns...

I got this far, got interrupted, came back to the post two hours later, tapped away with my best thoughts for an hour, hit post... and saw it all disappear because my token had run out... whatever that means.

It does mean that anyone reading this will probably never know what astonishing insights they might have gained!

I'm off to do something hopefully less frustrating...

​​​​​​​Stephen
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hi Stephen
if you go back to your reply it may have restore previous content in the lower corner of the box...
If not we can always speculate that you didn't agree with a word I said, which is fine, 'cos that's healthy...
​​​​​​​Weather beautiful today, not to be wasted...
stephenrand;54358:
Hi all

I don't agree with every word of Woz (!!) but I think these are understandable concerns...

I got this far, got interrupted, came back to the post two hours later, tapped away with my best thoughts for an hour, hit post... and saw it all disappear because my token had run out... whatever that means.

It does mean that anyone reading this will probably never know what astonishing insights they might have gained!

I'm off to do something hopefully less frustrating...

​​​​​​​Stephen

Hey @Angelabikerbabe 

Just thought I’d make you aware of this suggestion in the ideas board :thumbsup:

Userlevel 7
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Hey @Angelabikerbabe 

Just thought I’d make you aware of this suggestion in the ideas board :thumbsup:

Thanks @Marc , I've voted 👍

This is exactly what I was thinking  .

I didn’t realise this was a vote. Moreover, it seems I have unwittingly voted for it. I really need to come to terms with this missing cheese.

Anyway, fair points @woz and good reading for PP’s illustrious leader(s). Good luck finding a balanced response...

Userlevel 7
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Can I vote for my own suggestion?

Some maths to follow when have time...

Userlevel 7
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PP has introduced a fixed tariff system.

For that system (the plans) to work, then a penalty has been applied.

PP followed the standard penalty approach, by not “doing things a little different”

I appreciate that PP has a business to run and I guess they always consider what their USP’s are.

 

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