Bulb quoting system is very misleading — Bulb Community

Bulb quoting system is very misleading

I've just been having an online discussion with someone who was thinking of switching from E.on to Bulb. I told them Bulb would be cheaper, but when I gave them the link to get a quote, they went through the first part of the quoting system and saw the headline figure of £97/month based on them living in a 3 bedroom house, and immediately concluded that Bulb would be nearly £20/month more expensive than E.on.
I know by going to comparison sites that Bulb is cheaper than E.on by roughly £80-£100 per year, but because of this estimate based on house size, Bulb has lost a potential new member.
If the house size was 2 bedrooms the estimate would have been £74/month........£6/month cheaper than what they currently pay!
The extra bedroom seems to be costing £22/month for gas & electric!!!!!!! This seems crazy!

Comments

  • The best method to get a quote is to enter your previous annual energy usage in kWh.
  • Rule #1: Look at the unit prices/standing charges, not estimates.
  • Thanks Allanr ......
    Allanr said:

    The best method to get a quote is to enter your previous annual energy usage in kWh.

    I'm aware of how to get an accurate quote.......I'm just concerned that Bulb is missing out on potential new members because when they go thru the quoting system following a referral, the first figure they see can be wildly excessive, despite the fact that in this case Bulb's tariff is cheaper than the company they are currently with........once they see this headline figure they immediately think it's a scam or a con and give up.....


  • edited October 2018
    phproxy said:

    Rule #1: Look at the unit prices/standing charges, not estimates.

    Thanks phproxy........I'm just questioning the wisdom of giving such misleading estimates in the first place.......how can the system indicate that your energy bill would go from £74/month to £96/month just because of 1 extra bedroom?
  • louise1233

    I've just done a quick Google search and there were a number of sites showing the differences in energy costs of 2 bedroom house compared to 3 bedroom houses and to some extent they were showing the same differences as that by Bulb.

    It seems to assume that extra bedrooms equate to extra people living in the house which leads to greater energy use.
  • Allanr

    Yes, I'm sure you're right........I'm sure Bulb have done their homework and based their figures on reliable statistics.......unfortunately, as we all know, there are "Lies, damned lies, and statistics"

    I'm pretty sure Bulb won't change their system, it's just unfortunate that it only works for those people who fit into the statistical average
  • @louise1233 We prefer everyone who signs up to Bulb to give us their annual usage figures so we can give them an accurate quote.

    Even though our quoting of bedroom numbers is good for people with average consumption, the reality is that there are going to be a lot of people with wildly different consumption and they may get quotes from us that are way too high or way too low. It is just an unfortunate fact and the only thing we can do is try to get people to use their annual usage figures.
  • @DanP at Bulb In which case 'Refine your Quote' should be more prominently displayed or, ideally, entering annual usage should be the default option.
  • Certainly a good idea @yyt and we're in the middle of redesigning our join site at the moment, making the 'refine your quote' button more obvious is one of the changes we're testing out at the moment
  • Certainly a good idea @yyt and we're in the middle of redesigning our join site at the moment, making the 'refine your quote' button more obvious is one of the changes we're testing out at the moment

    I can see the reasoning for giving the initial quote based on house size, because in my experience, people often haven't got a clue what tariff their currently on, when their fixed deal ends etc etc, so Bulb are making it super-easy to get a quote........just as Bulb's tariff structure is also super-easy and super-simple. Unfortunately, as stated above, sometimes these simple quotes/guesstimates will be wildly inaccurate, so for those for whom it seems to high, they won't go any further with the process, and for those for whom it is very low, they will sign up expecting that they will be paying that price and then accuse Bulb of tempting them in with low prices and then whacking them up a few months down the line........making it look as if Bulb are unscrupulous 'cowboys'.........and there's many people out there who think just that, about Bulb in particular or energy companies in general.
  • We prefer everyone who signs up to Bulb to give us their annual usage figures so we can give them an accurate quote.

    So why faff around trying to make it more "prominent"?
    As @louise1233 and @yyt say, it should be the first choice, with a generic quote offered IF previous usage figures are not available
    Simples...
  • Unfortunately, as stated above, sometimes these simple quotes/guesstimates will be wildly inaccurate, so for those for whom it seems to high, they won't go any further with the process, and for those for whom it is very low, they will sign up expecting that they will be paying that price and then accuse Bulb of tempting them in with low prices and then whacking them up a few months down the line........making it look as if Bulb are unscrupulous 'cowboys'.........and there's many people out there who think just that, about Bulb in particular or energy companies in general.

    I think you are right, I've had quite a discussion over the last week on Bulb Facebook page where individuals have joined Bulb because of the low quote based on number of bedroom etc. All of a sudden they are being asked to increase their DD presumably based on estimated annual usage.

  • Allanr said:


    I think you are right, I've had quite a discussion over the last week on Bulb Facebook page where individuals have joined Bulb because of the low quote based on number of bedroom etc. All of a sudden they are being asked to increase their DD presumably based on estimated annual usage.

    ......and then those that are suddenly asked for dramatically more in DD payments immediately think it's a con, as you would, and then go onto social media and tell everyone about their terrible experience to anyone and everyone, making it seem that Bulb are indeed cowboys, con-artists and rip-off merchants.

  • 198kHz said:

    So why faff around trying to make it more "prominent"?
    As @louise1233 and @yyt say, it should be the first choice, with a generic quote offered IF previous usage figures are not available
    Simples...

    It's so ridiculously simple, isn't it? With the various user experience things on here that are just a bit, well, odd, you'd be forgiven for thinking someone at Bulb was deliberately sabotaging something!
  • @louise1233 We prefer everyone who signs up to Bulb to give us their annual usage figures so we can give them an accurate quote.

    Even though our quoting of bedroom numbers is good for people with average consumption, the reality is that there are going to be a lot of people with wildly different consumption and they may get quotes from us that are way too high or way too low. It is just an unfortunate fact and the only thing we can do is try to get people to use their annual usage figures.


    It is just an unfortunate fact
    .........excuse me for highlighting this, but, no, it's not an unfortunate fact it's a very badly designed quoting system that is bound to either put people off joining Bulb in the first place because the guesstimate appears excessive, or else they join and then later down the line they are angry and upset about the apparent con that they have been 'lured in' with a tempting offer and then ambushed with a dramatic demand for extra money.......and then go onto social media and tell everyone how terrible Bulb are!!

    As someone said earlier/elsewhere, look at the Tonik website for clues as to how to properly design a quoting process.
  • Just to further confuse matters- are suppliers not obliged to base headline prices on government specified "typical usage"? Otherwise one supplier could quote £20 a month, based on single occupancy of a studio flat, instantly attracting those who don't understand unit prices? As pointed out, many fail to understand the link between consumption, estimates, direct debits, headline prices etc.

    For a long time I have though the way to truly open up the energy market to competition would be to ban all discounts, and in particular standing charges. Energy should be sold like petrol, strictly price per litre (well KWh, but you know what I mean) this would make direct comparison ultra simple. If one company quotes 10.5p, and one 12p, you know immediately which is cheaper. As things stand, a lower unit price can be outweighed by high standing charges, And higher unit prices can be reduced by dual fuel discounts muddying the waters even for those with above average mathematical skills.
  • edited December 2018
    @louise1233................I have to agree the first and most accurate figure for quotes should be kWh usage and be the first choice, house size should be secondary, although it may not eliminate all the issues it should reduce it.
    Speaking to neighbours/friends and on other forums I reckon less than 10% actually understand their fuel bills. Even with government intervention to make them more transparent they can still be confusing.
    For a long time I have though the way to truly open up the energy market to competition would be to ban all discounts, and in particular standing charges.

    Unfortunately unless all companies are forced to implement this at the same time the first to do so would lose a large customer base as the prices would appear to be substantially more expensive. I would not hold my breath for the government to implement the obvious.
  • scudo said:

    @louise1233...........
    Speaking to neighbours/friends and on other forums I reckon less than 10% actually understand their fuel bills. Even with government intervention to make them more transparent they can still be confusing.

    Yes, I come across this time and time again when communicating with potential customers on social media.........very few know what tariff they're on, unless it's prepay with only one option!

    I wonder if that's part of the plan........keep the customer confused! (except Bulb, of course!)

  • edited December 2018
    I wonder if that's part of the plan........keep the customer confused! (except Bulb, of course!)

    If you look at it from a government perspective it is in their interest to keep the Bills as high as possible (but with lip service to Joe public) as it earns them more in tax (VAT).
    If one assumes there are say 25 million homes in the UK if the government can get an extra £2 per year in VAT (on heating/elec) then that's £50 million in to their coffers, or if they force the bills down by £2 (VAT) that's £50 million less for them.
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