In the habit of switching? — Bulb Community

In the habit of switching?

I look after user research here at Bulb and we're just looking into people who switch away from Bulb around their year anniversary. Obviously, we're sad to lose members but we like that people are interested in their energy enough to be shopping around.

As we have just one variable tariff there is no 'tease and squeeze' driving people to switch at their year mark and yet we still see many people doing it. What do you think the reasons for this are? Are you in the habit of checking annually... if so, what reminds you to do it if it's not a fixed rate coming to an end?

I would be fascinated to hear about your habits and experiences. Thanks

Comments

  • I get an email from MoneySavingExpert.com Cheap Energy Club when they think I can save £50 or more based on information they hold. I like Bulb's support of renewable energy and also their single variable tariff so I have no current plans to switch away even if I could save a little (although I would definitely switch if I could save a lot). I used to be more ruthless with previous suppliers and had a strategy of fixing and switching (frequently). But to be honest I would much rather not have the trouble of switching just as long as I have some confidence that the supplier won't rip me off if I'm not constantly on my guard. It's the same with insurance, phone contracts etc. Customer loyalty is so often penalised instead of rewarded.
  • I'd suggest there are a lot of people who only join Bulb because of the sign-up bribe, and they're always likely to leave once the money is banked and a cheaper tariff comes along. Presumably these early leavers make no profit for Bulb - or even a loss?

    I left Bulb because it's not a company I wanted to belong to, absolutely nothing to do with getting a better deal elsewhere. I have no intention of ever returning, but if I do I'm using your link @mowcius .
  • I look after user research here at Bulb and we're just looking into people who switch away from Bulb around their year anniversary. Obviously, we're sad to lose members but we like that people are interested in their energy enough to be shopping around.

    As we have just one variable tariff there is no 'tease and squeeze' driving people to switch at their year mark and yet we still see many people doing it. What do you think the reasons for this are? Are you in the habit of checking annually... if so, what reminds you to do it if it's not a fixed rate coming to an end?

    I would be fascinated to hear about your habits and experiences. Thanks

    I have no intention of switching, unless another green supplier comes up significantly cheaper.

    I found bulb really cheap and cheapest in my area, mainly because if they offer one tariff and run a clean and efficient business they can pass savings straight to customers. There is no hiding behind differing prices, just offer the cheapest they can offer.

    I wish more businesses ran this way.
  • edited May 1
    All the more reason to run your Bulbiversary offer 365 days a year!!!!!! Currently the scheme is on hold!!!!
    Especially as the year mark is when customers get itchy feet!!!!
    Why they do I don't know. Probably because many are used to year-long fixes!!!!
  • Many I believe are led by the switch companies who in my opinion mislead (to an extent) if for example BUlb advertise a price increase in 60 days time the switch companies can use that and state they will save by switching, at that point they dont know what other companies are /will be putting their prices up.
    So you switch away from Bulb and then find a couple of months later the `new` company has increases their price and you would have been better off staying with Bulb.

    Although I favor the Bulb payment system I think a few dont understand how it works and when they receive a statement are under the impression that is what they will pay so panic and leave. They are failing to realise their dd is set and the the costs balance out over a year.
  • edited May 7
    xxx said:

    I left Bulb because it's not a company I wanted to belong to, absolutely nothing to do with getting a better deal elsewhere. I have no intention of ever returning, but if I do I'm using your link @mowcius .

    :smile:

    I'm in the same boat as @xxx here. I originally switched to Bulb from Good Energy partially becuase it was cheaper, but mostly because I wanted to be with a company that seemed to be quick on their feet, listening to their members and innovating in the energy market.
    I worry that they're not turning out to be who I thought they were and I wonder whether I've just wasted a lot of time doing my best to help out.

    I'm not switching yet as I haven't really found another company who I feel much better about (although Good Energy despite their lack of customer forums is right up there again) but it's close.


    I suspect as others have said, most people don't really give a monkeys about the environmental aspect and just get drawn in by the £50 and the cheaper energy. Even if they do, there are a number of companies doing similar things with regards to green energy (some of them based on greenwashing, cough Shell Energy cough but the average person doesn't understand that) who are offering fixed contracts that are cheaper than Bulb's current tariff. If you don't care about renewables then there are loads of (potentially) cheaper options.
  • edited May 1
    I've never been keen on the modern trend of constantly switching providers for energy, insurance, telecoms etc etc... life's too short.
    I'd rather find a company that may not be THE cheapest this month, or next, but stays among the best for price and customer service.
    Unless something changes radically, I'm here for the duration. :)
    And the green aspect is a significant factor in the choice.
  • mowcius said:

    I'm in the same boat as @xxx here. I originally switch to Bulb from Good Energy partially becuase it was cheaper, but mostly because I wanted to be with a company that seemed to be quick on their feet, listening to their member and innovating in the energy market.
    I worry that they're not turning out to be who I thought they were and I wonder whether I've just wasted a lot of time doing my best to help out.

    I agree, I'm rather disappointed with the IT fiasco so far, the lack of any real response, and the fact it's all still ongoing.

    Like many businesses these days, Bulb are an IT company and the product they're selling is mostly irrelevant. Quite how things have got so bad so quickly, I've no idea. They were apparently installing smart meters for staff as part of testing. Given that the IHD problems appear to affect everyone, how can this possibly have not got picked up during that trial phase? I know technically they're still in "trial" but lets face it realistically they're not since installations aren't being advertised that way.

    I've somewhat lost faith in Bulb as an IT company and don't see things improving any time soon. That doesn't mean I'm going to be switching away just yet, but I'm certainly more likely to than I was six months ago should a better deal come along.

    In terms of the £50 incentive, I'm not sure I see how that can be related to people switching away specifically around their 12 month anniversary. If you were only switching for the £50 and not because Bulb were the cheapest for you, wouldn't you then immediately switch away to whoever was cheapest as soon as the incentive has been paid? You wouldn't wait 12 months. Like most people I generally do a 12 month financial audit, but it's hard to see why anyone would switch away just for the sake of it unless they did find what they believed was a better deal.
  • If Bulbiversary pay-outs at £100 a pop are too costly, why not reduce them to £80???? Your own stats show that loyalty incentives are required after a customer has been with the company for a year, and then after 2 years and 3 years etc etc!! Having said this, the current referral scheme is very good and must've generated thousands of new customers!!!!
  • I’m with 198kHz on this. I used to be with a provider who regularly introduced new tariffs with fancy names and every 12-24 months I was having to contact them to request a change to their cheaper deal.

    I’m not that bothered that Bulb may not be the absolute cheapest provider on the market - I like the ethos of the company and as long as they are competitively priced and the customer service is good, then that’s good enough for me. It’s one less headache not to have to think about switching every 12 months.

    I’ve had a smart meter installed, and my IHD doesn’t work either....but it didn’t cost me anything. It would be nice if it did work but hey! - it’s not the end of the world!
  • I get an email from MoneySavingExpert.com Cheap Energy Club when they think I can save £50 or more based on information they hold. I like Bulb's support of renewable energy and also their single variable tariff so I have no current plans to switch away even if I could save a little (although I would definitely switch if I could save a lot). I used to be more ruthless with previous suppliers and had a strategy of fixing and switching (frequently). But to be honest I would much rather not have the trouble of switching just as long as I have some confidence that the supplier won't rip me off if I'm not constantly on my guard. It's the same with insurance, phone contracts etc. Customer loyalty is so often penalised instead of rewarded.

    Thanks for your thoughts @christos_1 ... It's good to see that having one simple tariff is hopefully making life easier for you. It's good t o know that you are "constantly on your guard"... so you should be, we wouldn't want it any other way. We want to make sure we give you no reason to shop around. I wonder if it is this 'being on guard' that is leading people to look around annually?
  • @FromTheValleys Thank you for your thoughts - really helpful :-)
  • ky326vvb said:

    All the more reason to run your Bulbiversary offer 365 days a year!!!!!! Currently the scheme is on hold!!!!
    Especially as the year mark is when customers get itchy feet!!!!
    Why they do I don't know. Probably because many are used to year-long fixes!!!!

    I think you might be right that year long fixes have become a habit.... I hope the referral scheme works better for you soon.. we're trying lots of new things as we have to stay nimble with it - watch this space
  • scudo said:

    Many I believe are led by the switch companies who in my opinion mislead (to an extent) if for example BUlb advertise a price increase in 60 days time the switch companies can use that and state they will save by switching, at that point they dont know what other companies are /will be putting their prices up.
    So you switch away from Bulb and then find a couple of months later the `new` company has increases their price and you would have been better off staying with Bulb.

    Although I favor the Bulb payment system I think a few dont understand how it works and when they receive a statement are under the impression that is what they will pay so panic and leave. They are failing to realise their dd is set and the the costs balance out over a year.

    @scudo Thanks - that's really helpful insight =)
  • 198kHz said:

    I've never been keen on the modern trend of constantly switching providers for energy, insurance, telecoms etc etc... life's too short.
    I'd rather find a company that may not be THE cheapest this month, or next, but stays among the best for price and customer service.
    Unless something changes radically, I'm here for the duration. :)
    And the green aspect is a significant factor in the choice.

    @198kHz That is really interesting - thank you for taking the time to reply :3
  • ky326vvb said:

    If Bulbiversary pay-outs at £100 a pop are too costly, why not reduce them to £80???? Your own stats show that loyalty incentives are required after a customer has been with the company for a year, and then after 2 years and 3 years etc etc!! Having said this, the current referral scheme is very good and must've generated thousands of new customers!!!!

    @ky326vvb I agree - I think we need to think hard about how we retain loyalty. Hopefully doing this research weill kick off us thinking about that better. I think it is interesting what you say about rewarding the length of someone's loyalty
  • I’m with 198kHz on this. I used to be with a provider who regularly introduced new tariffs with fancy names and every 12-24 months I was having to contact them to request a change to their cheaper deal.

    I’m not that bothered that Bulb may not be the absolute cheapest provider on the market - I like the ethos of the company and as long as they are competitively priced and the customer service is good, then that’s good enough for me. It’s one less headache not to have to think about switching every 12 months.

    I’ve had a smart meter installed, and my IHD doesn’t work either....but it didn’t cost me anything. It would be nice if it did work but hey! - it’s not the end of the world!

    @johnhunter Great to know we're saving you a headache :3 Thank you for taking the time to respond! Much appreciated
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