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Two more go bust

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Two more go bust

Two more energy suppliers are in deep trouble....

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/experts/article-6026577/How-navigate-energy-game-two-gas-electricit...

 

 

Iresa is the latest household provider to fold, just a day after business supplier National Gas and Power had its licence revoked.

13 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Re: Two more go bust

And I fear more to come.Some of the new companies are very good and offer  much more competitive tariffs than the likes of BG but if their deal looks too good to be true then it possibly is.

 

i mentioned elsewhere that I switched to Bulb this year. It's early days but so far I am happy with them.  Their customer service is excellent and their price is good. They only offer one tariff.

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Baldrick1
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Re: Two more go bust

I guess that the problem is that these companies start with good prices and with few customers, good customer service. This gets splashed around the internet and droves of new customers pile in. The customer service staffing and training can't then expand fast enough to keep up with all the new customers with the inevitable result.

My other big worry is that I have a suspicion that these small companies are buying energy on the spot market. This is fine when prices are stable but if there's an international crisis that causes a large price hike then they can be in serious trouble.

Kimberlin
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Re: Two more go bust

I've just in the last few weeks swapped to a very new energy provider and already I'm starting to quiver a bit. I'm not going to name the provider, but they popped up with some very cheap gas and electric tariffs and after many years of being with one of the big six and actually paying really good energy rates because I bothered to switch tariffs in house, my fixed contract was coming to an end and my bills would have become rather expensive quite quickly and so it forced my hand to move elsewhere. That in itself is a shame, because my former Big Six supplier had a great ios App and did me no ill at all in all the years I was a customer. However, I suspect, like the rest of the big well known companies, the increase in wholesale market prices is only part of the story, they are having to pay for the Smart Meter rollout which of course is being passed on to the end user, i.e. you and me. This whole charade of 'free' Smart Meters is in my opinion, shameful. Yes, 'free' at the point of installation, but the cost is undoubtedly being recouped through future energy bills. As it happens, the new player to the market I'm now with, doesn't/isn't currently offering Smart Meters and so I suspect they can keep their costs down to a point, that and not having fancy smart phone apps, large offices and hundreds upon hundreds of staff. But concerning Smart Meters, I will now not under any circumstances be having them fitted. Smart Meters won't save me any money at all because I submit regular meter readings online, I've made an effort to replace any electrical item that wasn't energy efficient, I've even replaced my boiler with an efficient 'A' rated condensing model. Furthermore, until the whole 'SMETS 1/2' debacle is sorted, for me, it doesn't make any sense to swap meters anyway.

But back to topic, the upshot is, customer service at present is not at all great with my new supplier. It takes days for an email to be answered, and in the the case of the last email, they've just not bothered to reply. I have though seen my first monthly invoice and it is comprehensive and as clear as an energy bill can be. I'll be keeping a very close eye on things though.

Luzern
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Re: Two more go bust

@Baldrick1 I agree. I'd suggest some of those companies are opportunist, and I'm none too sure the owners care particularly about failure. I doubt they'll lose out, and anyhow the punters' credit balances are protected. Companies should have tp produce security before entering the market.

What i say next will seem mean minded, but in commercial dealings caveat emptor (buyer beware) is the rule, and the protection of customers' credit balances removes risk. Having to suffer some degree of loss, if not total, of those balances could make people more circumspect.

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Community Veteran
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Re: Two more go bust

@Luzern  Yes,   consumer beware... indeedy ! ... however... if a consumer has a "credit balance" with any company, they should be protected, as it is not "their fault" if those in charge of the company are inept in running it profitably, and so it goes bust...

Suggesting that customers should lose their money, would make them more careful in their choice of supplier, is a bit much... that is encouraging Pyramid Selling type marketing for energy companies, that don`t really care, because as has been said, those at the top rarely "lose out" when a company goes bust... always those at the bottom of the pyramid...i.e. the consumers who "lose out"... and always the most vulnerable trying to save a bit on energy costs, so they can spend more on food and other essentials of life.

 

Luzern
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Re: Two more go bust

@shutter As I said, that is how it is in normal business, and there is that old saying, "a fool and his money are easily parted". Your point about the poor suffering most has value, but i suggest not all those who joined for rock-bottom prices are in that category. They were bargain hunters, but bargain hunters have a duty to themselves to be cautious. 

I did make some allowance in that I said, ( I can't see my original at the moment) to part loss. That was to mitigate the customer loss.

If I am harsh sounding, it comes from what i read some time ago about unauthorised bank charges. On a certain site a goodly number could not see that, firstly they had broken their contract, secondly that dealing with their delinquency had costs for the bank, which did exceed because of business costs the customer did not have.

 

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Luzern
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Re: Two more go bust

And when I read this from MSE

I do agree it might seem insane to some but as someone else said they'd rather have the extra money in their pocket than the suppliers. I don't think the suppliers fail that regularly to make it not worth taking the risk as if everyone wanted to be with a safe supplier they can pay much more for that security. As long as the ofgem safety net pulls through as it should then it's just a case of doing another switch to another cheap supplier ( for however long they last), getting my credit balance back from Iresa due to paying so little for my electric. My gas is with Bristol Gas and they remain very cheap but also have some good backing (which I appreciate Octopus also has) so can appreciate that Iresa was a risk as it pretty much just came out the blue offering unsustainably low prices. I've had about 18 months of really cheap electricity and now just have to switch to another supplier as ofgem also switched to a fairly reasonably priced tariff in the interim.
In any case also (I might be one of a minority), switching for me hasn't been any trouble as I've switched quite a few times the last few years and had no issues really apart from with British Gas which would be deemed a safe supplier and one worth paying the extra to be with...
In this case now I'm only due to be out of pocket by about £6 in the interim between switching cheap suppliers.
So in any case I am happy to keep switching and taking the risk as so far doing so has saved me money which I'm happy about. 

It reinforces my opinion!

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Community Veteran
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Re: Two more go bust

I don't understand how anyone can still be buying from the big 6. They are among the dearest and their customer service is no better than some of the smaller companies. I have friends who are with BG and they have never switched. It's the first switch where the big bucks are saved.

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Luzern
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Re: Two more go bust

@artmo On standard accounts I agree,but OTOH the B6 have  great deal more chance of surviving bad times.

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Community Veteran
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Re: Two more go bust

Another reason to shop around:

 

Rip Off

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Luzern
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Re: Two more go bust

If that survey had been conducted by a large supplier, it would be called biased, but this one was by a small one. so is unbiased and fair. Hmm!

TBH Show me a survey which is utterly independent, and its findings with less skepticism.

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,838
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Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Re: Two more go bust

Yes another increase from British Gas.

 

2nd Increase this Year

 

I can't believe anybody who sticks with BG. I have a friend who has been with them for ages. When I asked her why she is still with them she said she likes them.

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Kimberlin
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Re: Two more go bust

You can try to reason with people until you are literally blue in the face explaining that by sticking with one particular provider, either through misguided 'loyalty' or plain apathy, that they could well be paying well over the odds for what they could be getting cheaper elsewhere. This is why I do not personally subscribe to loyalty to any provider. If I can get the same/similar product cheaper elsewhere, I'll go for it. Sadly 'loyalty' can cost you dearly and you have to wonder why anyone would stick with a provider just because they 'like them'. Perhaps they have very healthy bank accounts........?