Some small suggestions and one BIG idea

Idea Status: New

First just a little context – I have been with PP for just over 1 month

As I was coming to the end of my fixed term contract with PfP Energy I started looking at alternative suppliers as every company I have ever used (5 in the last 6 years) has always been uncompetitive on renewal.

I was intrigued by the idea of pricing electricity units at just the wholesale cost because this approach favours heavy users such as myself. I also like the fact that PP uses renewable energy.

To see if PP was for me, I decided to download the app and have a play. Things did not go terribly well to begin with, with the email/login loop bug causing no end of head scratching. Wattbot is also a little confusing for newcomers as it does look like a chat service, but isn’t. However, given there are no exit fees I decided to give PP a try

Apart from the login problem and the multiple first reading requests the app now seems to be behaving itself and the first monthly statement has been received (although I never did get an email reminder?)

So here are my thoughts:

I’m sure you don’t plan to, but don’t ever be tempted to charge exit fees as that will discourage people to give you a try.

Make fixing the email/login loop a priority, if this has not already been fixed.

Ditto the multiple requests for the initial reading

Investigate why some customers are not receiving monthly meter reading reminder emails

OK – now for the big idea.

Clearly some people aren’t really understanding how PP operates. Although your web site does a good job of explaining this (e.g. no call centres, everything done through the app etc.) their frustration when things don’t go quite to plan is evidenced in the posts on the forum.

My idea is to create ‘sand pit’ in the app, that is to say an area where people can experiment in using the app as if they were already signed up. A new circle would be created on the Home screen called something like ‘Is PP really for me?’ and displayed until after the cooling off period.

Clicking on this circle would begin with a brief reminder of how PP operates and then potential customers would be taken through a sequence of steps that would simulate the key events that occur after the decision to switch to PP is taken. These would include confirmation of the intent to switch, delivery of the welcome Pack, through to practicing submitting meter readings. At each step links could be placed to relevant FAQs to help people understand each step. Users could also be given the option to cancel if they decide PP is not for them, so this circle could subsume the existing ‘Cancel switch’ circle.

So in effect the ‘Cancel’ circle would be re-branded as something more positive – an opportunity to explore the consequences of the PP model in a practical way giving a (simulated) experience as close to ‘hands on’ as possible.

Potential benefits are enormous – this process could help people to self-identify if the PP approach is to their taste. This would reduce the number of unhappy new users who are probably making heavy use of PP resources, risking a rise in the monthly membership fee.

In this way PP would have customers who are proceeding with their switch in the full knowledge of what to expect, and I would hope this would lead to fewer problems and higher ratings in the Apple and Google play stores.

Sorry this is a bit long.
Like your thinking Lenny.
Your joining experience seems very similar to mine; smooth enough, but tinged with confusion.
Whether a 'try before you buy' app experience would work is a moot point. A sizeable percentage of the problems do seem to be due to people misunderstanding how PP operates; variable wholesale rates, no call centre, app based, an AI Wattbot.
That's quite a lot for your not-so-tech-savvy person to get their head around. Throw in the odd technical glitch and it's no wonder some people get confused.