We're trialling double referral rewards for members on their Bulbiversary — Bulb Community

We're trialling double referral rewards for members on their Bulbiversary

edited November 2018 in About Bulb
Hi folks,

We want to give everyone a heads up of something that we’re going to be trialling really soon. From Thursday this week, we’ll be offering double referral rewards for a week for members who have their Bulb anniversary this week. So about 2000 members will be able to offer their friends £100 for switching, and they’ll earn £100 too.

We want to say thanks to our members that stick with us for a while. Rewarding loyalty isn’t something that energy companies are well known for, and we’d like to buck that trend.

We’ve had a lot of requests to do a double referral reward since November when we last did it. As we get bigger it becomes more difficult for us to do these weeks as it puts a lot of strain on our member service team, so this is one way we’re able to offer it without it affecting the service we offer everyone else.

If this proves popular, we’ll make sure that we offer it to everyone, and that no one misses out due to the time of year they signed up with Bulb. So if your Bulb anniversary was recently, you won’t have to wait a whole year.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Cheers,

Bill

Comments

  • I like the idea of celebrating one's Bulbiversary (like a Reddit cake day), but I'm not sold on it being double referrals.

    Could it not just be a credit that increases every year a member stays with Bulb?

    The way it is, it massively favours extroverted members with a large social media account following.
  • I agree with mowcius - excellent idea to celebrate the anniversary, but a credit to my account would be much more welcome. It would certainly influence my decision about switching to another supplier. I've been very happy with Bulb, but now you're only offering a variable tariff, there are fixed price deals with other renewable energy suppliers that look more attractive.
  • Hi both, thanks for your comments so far, I like the credit idea and I'll feed it back to the team. I'd love to receive something like that on my Bulb anniversary.

    @The_Mole - variable's been the only way we've done since right at the very beginning, where we trialled a fixed tariff. We always want to reflect the true cost of energy in our prices, and although that's led to a recent price rise, we're quick to reduce when wholesale goes down, which a fixed deal won't do. We appreciate that's not everyone's cup of tea though, and we want everyone to do what's right for them. We'd love you to stay though, especially if you've been happy so far.
  • A credit to the member's account rewards loyalty, whereas what concerns Bulb is getting new customers. Do you think those requests for another double referral bonanza came from the environmentally conscious or the spammers?
  • If we could give members a credit on their anniversary, we'd just lower our unit rates. But because we set our prices at the lowest amount we can, we'd end up going bust if we gave money to people on their anniversary as we'd lose money on each member.

    We're able to do a double referral reward because we take money that we'd otherwise give to advertisers like Facebook or Google and can give it to members instead. We'd always rather give money to our members.
  • Seems like a very expensive retention and acquisition tactic.
    Surely each customer you take on through other marketing/sales channels doesn’t cost £200? That’s ludicrous. How will bulb ever make a profit? Or stay afloat?
  • The_Mole said:

    but now you're only offering a variable tariff, there are fixed price deals with other renewable energy suppliers that look more attractive.

    But they've only ever offered a variable tariff...?

    We're able to do a double referral reward because we take money that we'd otherwise give to advertisers like Facebook or Google and can give it to members instead. We'd always rather give money to our members.

    I have to admit I think I'm in the same cynical boat as @hiphopopotamus. I get that referrals from comparison sites are quite expensive, but surely Google and Facebook adverts can't cost anything over a few quid per click (if that)? Considering that most people who click through are probably just looking and won't sign up on the spot, how could that be even close to the referral bonuses?

    I can't see how someone leaving, and someone new joining with a referral bonus, exit fees, processing, and increased support costs; could be less than encouraging existing members to hang around with a moderate Bulbiversary bonus.
  • edited September 2018
    You're right, we'd usually pay between £50-100 for members joining us through other channels, but members who join us through referrals stick around for longer because they know more about Bulb before they sign up. It's quite surprising, but it is significant.
    We normally pay the top end amount of that, a total of £100, for a normal referral, because they're less likely to leave each year.

    We can increase this to £200 for some members and still make it worthwhile. It just takes longer to recoup that money back. If anything, it just means we have to focus even more on keeping our members happy. Which we don't see as a bad thing.

    So, giving £20 (or any other amount really) a year to members on their anniversary would be a direct hit on our finances. This would cause us to lose money on every member, so we wouldn't be able to do anything.

    Giving £200 once for each referral just delays our profits. Our investors are all in it for the long haul, they're not out to make a quick few quid. They want to see real growth over the long term, and having happy members that choose to stay with Bulb is a great way to do that. They've invested in Bulb so that we're able to achieve exactly that.

    It's unlikely we'd be able to increase it to £200 full time as our marketing budget isn't that big but for each member some of the time? Sure, if that's something you want that is.

    We genuinely want to do nice things for our members. We've been asked a lot if we could do a repeat of last years double referral week, so we thought this might be a nice way to do it.
  • just to check im understanding this correctly. everyone that is 'celebrating' their bulb anniversary this week gets double referrals, but someone who has been a bulb customer for well over a year doesn't?

    and this is the 2nd time you've done it? presumably for people that joined in November?

    So unless you are planning on running this trial for a year, some portion of your customers aren't going to get the benefit.

    Also most people seem to be on fixes, and it just seems like it would be a pain to get everyone sorted for switching on that one week.

  • ben281 said:

    just to check im understanding this correctly. everyone that is 'celebrating' their bulb anniversary this week gets double referrals, but someone who has been a bulb customer for well over a year doesn't?

    and this is the 2nd time you've done it? presumably for people that joined in November?

    So unless you are planning on running this trial for a year, some portion of your customers aren't going to get the benefit.

    Also most people seem to be on fixes, and it just seems like it would be a pain to get everyone sorted for switching on that one week.

    1) Yes pretty much, my year anniversary was about 3 weeks ago, and i don't get one presumably for another 11 months or so (if it's still running then!)

    2) November one was for everyone not just limited to people with a set yearly anniversary
  • Hi @ben281 and @tom6685 - If it's something that our members enjoy and we go live with it, if you just missed yours we'd put you in a later group for a belated Bulbiversary (i.e. you wouldn't be waiting 11 months) - we're just trying this out and seeing how our members feel about it, and making sure all the cogs are moving correctly before bringing this out on a larger scale.
  • Nobody has ever used my referral :(
  • @darren8792, are all of your friends and family with Bulb?
    If not then it sounds like you've got work to do, and you could be having a good Christmas bonus!
  • I'm fairly new to Bulb and I find some customers or posters rather spoilt by them. I'd recommend Bulb to any and all my friends for free, I didn't join for any ecological green power. It was basic pounds in my pocket, best deal on the market, prices are going to rise in line with wholesale but whose aren't. Fixed deal may sound good but only if you gamble on prices always rising, fixed deal usually means locking you in on long term contract, cost a fortune to exit for a better deal.
  • @Bill at Bulb, any updates on this as it's been going for a few weeks now?

    Is this something you're planning on keeping?
  • Hiya @mowcius. It's something we're looking at continuing, we've started our 2nd week of this yesterday, and we're aiming to bring it out to all members that are owed a Bulbiversary by the end of this year.
  • I came to Bulb without any help or persuasion from anyone, I checked the costs and customer service feedback then went through Topcashback to add to any potential savings.

    Unfortunately someone in Bulb has declined my cashback and despite trying on here and getting a "we don't get much in involved in that sort of thing here it must be someone else in Bulb" I've now waited over five days for a response by email but then seeing as I'm leaving next week I don't hold out any hope of a positive response.

    So it seems like you're keen to offer incentives in some ways but not to honour others. It's a bit like the bank advert a while ago where the bank manager was reeling them in, unfortunately for me I took the bait that Bulb had put on their fishing line, thankfully they make it easy to wriggle free.

    I will make sure I give something back to Bulb later.
  • Tinman

    It doesn't really help when you post your concerns about Topcashback on three different threads on this forum, it is best to keep to one thread. Having just carried a search of the Forum Bulb, I came across a thread from back in July where Bulb team advised they had sent a PM to you with the ID to show you were a bona fide customer of Bulb.

    Whatever became with following this up with Topcashback?

    Also do you have a confirmation email from Topcashback which categorically says it was Bulb who declined your cashback?

    If you are still having issues you can contact Bulb by telephone or chat as per: https://help.bulb.co.uk/hc/en-us/articles/115001240291-How-can-I-get-in-touch-with-Bulb-

  • My ha'pence worth: generous referral rewards smack a wee bit of desperation, plus they help only highly socially connected customers who have nowt better to do than bombard their contacts with these and multiple other offers. Those people are more likely to be bargain-driven and will jump ship as soon as the next one comes along.
  • In my opinion I like the credit idea. I had already recommended Bulb to most of my family and friends so it was unlikely I would be able to benefit from the extra money for referring a friend. In addition the one week window is too short to convince anyone to switch.
  • I've had a problem with friends liking the idea but either don't like that I get a kick back (some friends huh?!) or that it will be too much hassle. For the record I have pushed this with about 30 people. No one seems to have bitten. Pretty shocked. Perhaps in the communication you could say about how easy it is to move and how they are not tied in.....
  • So, Bulb put forward a commercially costed, "quid pro quo" scheme which gives us all a gentle, non-obligatory nudge each year to potentially generate some new business for them, in return for which we receive a generous wedge of account credit.

    I'm astonunded how some of the previous comments seem to take umbridge with this. If you don't like it, just carry on as you were folks, and nothing will change. Simple. Fixed it for you :)

    Bulb, it's a great idea in my opinion, and long may it continue +1
  • I'm astonunded how some of the previous comments seem to take umbridge with this. If you don't like it, just carry on as you were folks, and nothing will change. Simple. Fixed it for you :)

    People take issue with it because it's not a fair system. It significantly favours specific individuals but is being suggested as a reward to everyone for loyalty.

    The same reward should be available to everyone, and as it is right now it's not.
  • @mowcius - @Bill at Bulb is making sure that everyone will get a Bulbiversary. If you've been with us a year already, we'll catch you up so that you don't miss out :)
  • @Eleanor at Bulb, that's not the point I was making. Please see the other comments above.
  • @mowcius - @Bill at Bulb is making sure that everyone will get a Bulbiversary. If you've been with us a year already, we'll catch you up so that you don't miss out :)

    Eleanor, this scheme will only work if you actually pay out the referral bonus, I have been waiting several weeks for mine and despite phone calls and emails it still has not happened. Caspar told me there was a link broken and it would be fixed but my patience is being stretched.
  • Pandabear said:

    Eleanor, this scheme will only work if you actually pay out the referral bonus, I have been waiting several weeks for mine and despite phone calls and emails it still has not happened. Caspar told me there was a link broken and it would be fixed but my patience is being stretched.

    That seems unusual. I've never had or heard of any issues like this with people having bonuses paid. If there's been any problem with the automated system then they've normally just added it to my account while I was on the phone.
  • Hey @Pandabear.

    I've credited both you and your friend with a £50 referral reward. The reason for the delay was that your friend has two accounts which make our referral tracker have a wobble. Sorry about that. We're fixing it.

    As you signed up through USwitch you would not get the referral reward from Bulb. If Uswitch offered some cash back for your switch, this will be validated by Bulb but it takes a little longer.

    @mowcius we try to do what is best for our members. Mostly, we get positive feedback about the referral link. We do our best to prevent misuse of the link and caution/remove the link for anyone who breaks our terms and conditions. We understand that it's not for everyone though.

  • Hey @Pandabear.

    I've credited both you and your friend with a £50 referral reward. The reason for the delay was that your friend has two accounts which make our referral tracker have a wobble. Sorry about that. We're fixing it.

    As you signed up through USwitch you would not get the referral reward from Bulb. If Uswitch offered some cash back for your switch, this will be validated by Bulb but it takes a little longer.

    @mowcius we try to do what is best for our members. Mostly, we get positive feedback about the referral link. We do our best to prevent misuse of the link and caution/remove the link for anyone who breaks our terms and conditions. We understand that it's not for everyone though.

    many thanks @Eleanor at Bulb
  • I've really been trying to refer people because it's such a good deal. The problem is that everyone I try to refer thinks I'm trying to scam them and the offer of getting £100 runs out at midnight :anguished:
  • It was a great idea, but terrible timing, as it fell over the half-term holiday, when most of my friends are spending time with their kids (often on holiday) and aren't going to be looking at researching energy comparisons, so I didn't get any takers.

    In general though, the referral bonus is good, and I've had several take-ups in the past. Could you repeat it outside of the school holidays please???
  • Outflow said:

    I've really been trying to refer people because it's such a good deal. The problem is that everyone I try to refer thinks I'm trying to scam them and the offer of getting £100 runs out at midnight :anguished:

    How can you help @Outflow? What ways have you found to share your links successfully?
  • Jon_W said:

    It was a great idea, but terrible timing, as it fell over the half-term holiday, when most of my friends are spending time with their kids (often on holiday) and aren't going to be looking at researching energy comparisons, so I didn't get any takers.

    In general though, the referral bonus is good, and I've had several take-ups in the past. Could you repeat it outside of the school holidays please???

    This is a question for @Bill at Bulb :)

  • Really like the idea, and have been meaning to refer my girlfriend's parents for a while so this gave us the incentive to finally do it

    Unfortunately after referring them using my link neither of us have been credited with the £100, or received any notification that they signed up using our link (which has happened before when we've referred people). Not sure if it's a glitch with the new system, another thing which I realised may of caused it to be a bit squiffy is that instead of directly copying the link from the email and getting the extended url of bulb.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4834(loads of numbers and text)...... I just wrote out the url of bulb.co.uk/refer/(my username) into a group chat which they followed.

    Hope you can help! Cheers
  • edited October 2018
    Hi @Jon_W - Thanks for your question. Yours should usually be a bit earlier in the year - we wanted to make sure that everyone who was due a Bulbiversary should get one this year. Yours in future will be around July (I know that's still a holiday, but we aren't really able to move everyone so massively, we ideally want to keep it quite constant). Best of luck with anyone else you try to get.

    @Outflow - That's a real shame - if they click the link it's definitely Bulb, and it even says £100 for the week on yours.

    @Harry123 - I've sent you an email so we can look into this.
  • I think it's a generous offer from bulb and understand why it can't just be credit. My dad had expressed interest a little while ago and I sent him my link, but sent this double reward link to him as I don't think he ever got round to it.
    I second the comment that a week isn't very long to get people to sign up.
  • Ellie257 said:

    I think it's a generous offer from bulb and understand why it can't just be credit. My dad had expressed interest a little while ago and I sent him my link, but sent this double reward link to him as I don't think he ever got round to it.
    I second the comment that a week isn't very long to get people to sign up.

    I only received an email about my bulbversary on Thursday afternoon and it expires shortly on Tuesday 23.59 so barely get 5 days not a week.

    In future could this be a fortnight perhaps? Or at least a full week?
  • Hi @Ellie257 and @Phillip_PAL - valid points, we're looking at giving people a week's notice before it starts in future so that people get a bit more time to utilise it, but we don't think we'll be offering a fortnight at this time.
  • Hi
    I seem to have had the same problem as @Harry123 - an acquantance signed up (adamant that he used my link), but I have not had a notification nor credit. He signed up almost 48 hrs ago
    Overall, I think it;s a great idea as people perceive green companies as expensive and this is enough to be a real incentive. Not sure how much time everyone got, but I got under 5 days (which included a weekend) - not enough time, perhaps, for folk to think abut changing suppliers?
  • @aliuk You and the person who used your link won't get a referral credit until the switch day but you should see the person's name in the Refer A Friend section of your online account. Regarding notifications of referral sign ups (and also notifications of referral switches completing), there does appear to be an issue because I've had emails for neither for several days now.
  • I liked the idea of this but I'd suggest some improvements.

    I got the first email on Monday at 2:55pm and the subject heading was "Happy Bulbiversary, has it been a year already?" There was nothing to suggest that there was a special offer in the email, or that there was any point reading the email. It sounded like it was going to be a generic message so I ignored it. My first suggestion is to improve the subject wording.

    I got a second email the next day at 5:05pm with the subject "Last chance for double referral rewards". So I opened this one! It sounded like a great idea and I was happy to spread the word to friends, but the email said I had to do it by midnight that day.

    So I looked back at the Monday email and it said the offer was available "this week". In fact for me it was only available for about 26 hours. So my second suggestion is to make the offer available for a full week, not just a day. I got a message today from someone who would have used the offer to sign up but was too late.

    The initial message in this thread seems to say that the offer should last for a full week, so maybe the short offer for me was just a mistake?
  • Hi @jdo21 - I'm really sorry about that, you definitely shouldn't have only got a day, we've not sent out any comms on a Monday for this, and I'm sorry you missed out on the full span. I'll look into this and send you an email to try and work out what happened there.

    As for the subject line, we're looking at tweaks to the wording as well.
  • Thank-you for this.
    Shared my link 20 mins ago and already got one person switching. That’ll definitely help towards our winter fuel costs.
  • How do I stop being subscribed to this topic? :)
  • willmow said:

    How do I stop being subscribed to this topic? :)

    I'm guessing you can't due to the fact you contributed a response earlier on in this thread.
  • @willmow you can change your settings by clicking the 'edit profile' button. You'll be able to stop any notifications.


  • Eleanor

    I actually took it be that @willmow wanted to know how to unsubscribe from this particular topic, I think the Edit profile approach would mean unsubscribed from all topics?

  • @Allanr: yes, that's right.
    @Eleanor: so contributing to a topic means you're fated to receive other people's posts until the end of time? That's... daft. This all-or-nothing option has no place in a civilised society and need changing, or I won't be contributing to any further topics! And won't you be sorry... :#
  • edited November 2018
    Hi @willmow , apologies, I've disabled you getting notifications on posts that you contribute to unless you are specifically tagged in them, or if you created them.

    You can amend your preferences further by going to your profile, clicking on the little man in the top right, click Edit Profile, and then Edit Preferences. You can choose which actions will give you a notification, and which will not.
  • Hi Bill - thanks for that. I originally looked for the settings but couldn't find them - hence my post. I'm happy now (well, if you don't count Brexit, climate change, my wife being vegetarian, and people leaving their engines running for hours before driving off....).
  • It's the little things that get you by!
  • Hi again Bulberinos,

    We’ve run some trials of Bulbiversary for a few weeks now. We think in the main that it’s something that people enjoyed.

    Now, we’re going take a slight step back, and consolidate the feedback we’ve got from our members. We want to make sure we know what worked, what didn’t and what we can do to improve it. As it is, the process is manual and incredibly time-consuming, and we want to make sure everything functions really well – not just for you, but for the friends you’re referring.

    If you should have had a Bulbiversary this year, and haven’t had one yet, don’t worry. We haven’t forgotten about you. As soon as we’ve made some improvements, we’ll be getting back in touch with our members who have passed their 1 year anniversary with us.

    Bill
  • Am I eligible for bulbiversary ?
  • @Sgb, when did you join Bulb? I believe this is still ongoing so once you've been with Bulb for a year you'll get your bulbiversary.
  • @Sgb @mowcius - We've put a hold on Bulbiversary for the time being, we're still working out what to do on this front. But, quite a few fun things coming up soon (if you like referrals).
  • But, quite a few fun things coming up soon (if you like referrals).

    Yeah, I don't really.

    Can we just get Bulb to spend more time quashing bugs and existing issues instead?
  • @Sgb @mowcius - We've put a hold on Bulbiversary for the time being, we're still working out what to do on this front. But, quite a few fun things coming up soon (if you like referrals).

    Nice, please do inform me of any updates.
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