About to Leave Bulb Unless

Hello.

MoneySavingExpert’s Cheap Energy Club tells me I can save almost £200 a year by going to another company, e.g. Avro or Green who also have great customer reviews. We have been with Bulb for a few years now, but since

  • my father passed away in February and our common available budget has shrunk and

  • Bulb has just announced a £91/year hike and don’t seem to be as competitive as a number of other well-regarded energy providers,

I am naturally thinking of my options.

Probably a dumb question but… does Bulb have some kind of customer retention scheme for loyal customers, then I could avoid the hassle of switching and stay with a familiar company?

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Feeling the same way at the moment ! So many other suppliers now cheaper than Bulb and no sign of any loyalty discounts

Time to change sadly 17.724 kWh is really high and with the increase on standing charges and gas it seems Bulb have drawn up in then just become like the big energy suppliers , greedy !

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Yes, Look After My Bills says they can save me £205 per annum. Bulb used to be the cheapest but it seems not any longer.

Well, it would have been nice to have a Bulb rep respond but it seems there is no retention scheme at Bulb, which is a shame. Some sort of price matching for customers who’ve been with the company for a certain period of time wouldn’t hurt their business.

Off to check out Avro and Green to see what they can offer. Good luck to you all!

Hi @TariqS, @NickBracknell and @Ariperi :wave:
Thanks for posting on Community and getting involved in our discussions :relaxed:

We don’t like increasing our prices, but because our tariff is low and reflects the true cost of energy, we have to change our prices when costs change.

The cost of supplying energy has increased significantly. Wholesale costs are now 31% higher than they were in September, when we last changed our prices.

After these changes, we’ll still be below the energy price cap by:

  • £81 for a typical home paying monthly by Direct Debit
  • £9 for a typical home if you top up your meters

We’ve written more about this on our blog.

As we only have one variable tariff we’re not able to fix tariff prices as this isn’t something we do at the moment. If you would like us to take a look at what would be available for you if your circumstances have recently changed we can definitely see how we could help.

– Holly :bulb:

Sorry but using the price cap seems a cop out and you’ve gone from always being in the top 5 lowest cost suppliers to going down to about 25th - which hints the management at bulb are doing something wrong if other highly rated suppliers can beat you on price. Maybe spend less on flashy adverts and pass on the saving

Hi @NickBracknell :wave:

We appreciate that feedback. Our wholesale costs have increased by 31%, but our tariff has increased by 10% (on average). The burden of our price increase has not solely been placed on the member but you make a good point. We are trying to be as transparent as possible.

We really do not like increasing our tariffs. This is not a decision that we take lightly at all. We will still be offering a competitive tariff, and we are rated excellent on Trustpilot.

Unlike a lot of suppliers, we do not have exit fees. This is part of our honest and transparent approach.

If you have any specific questions, please let us know.

Have a good day,

Niamh :bulb:

Hi Niamh,
I’m having trouble understanding your last statement that ‘our tariff has only increased by 10% (average)’, I think you are being selective with the tariffs you pick to demonstrate, either that or I’m on the worst tariff on your books.
I’m on Economy 7, the night rate which is supposed to be ‘cheap’ rate increased from Oct 20 to 8.937p the new rate from April 21 will be 10.542p thats is a 18% increase. It looks even worse if I take into consideration the October increase (Apr 2020 was 7.59p)from that of April 21, the year on year increase is 39% (7,59p to 10.542p)
That ain’t cheap
ReagrdsPhil

Thank you @Niamh_at_Bulb and @holly_at_bulb for responding.

Unfortunately, as @NickBracknell said, Bulb is not competitive anymore compared to a host of other companies. When I did my price comparison at MoneySavingExpert, in a long list of possible providers, old and new, Bulb was nowhere to be seen.

It’s a pity because I like the facility at Bulb of doing everything online, including changing the Direct Debit myself without having to phone or email and ask permission (as it were). And this Bulb Community is a great bonus.

If I can stay with Bulb that would be my preference, but since my father died of coronavirus last month, a chunk of income has been lost and I’m watching all my pennies. In this scenario £190+ pounds of potential savings makes a significant difference.

Hello @TariqS

We do really appreciate the feedback regarding the tariff, as this is still the only tariff we have on offer, if costs do change and we are able to reduce the tariff, we will be able to do that. :bulb:

I am also so sorry to hear about your loss, with this in mind I can totally appreciate you need to be on the best deal possible. Bulb does not charge any exit fees as you may know but I would like to actually follow up with some financial support in the meantime. This can help you if you stay or leave.

Please look out in your emails for one from me a little bit later on.

Kind Regards,
Carl

Hi Carl. Just saw your message on the board.

The consideration is much appreciated, thank you.

Like many - I’m a little disappointed that the promise of a competitive price became a fantasy - I’m also angry that all that I’ve been told about the addition of my existing smart meters to the Bulb ‘system’ has also not come to fruition. Just tried ‘chat’ and after 20 minutes got perfunctory and almost rude excuses - nothing positive. I moved to Bulb for all the right reasons and really wish I hadn’t. Very, very unhappy.

According to companies house, Bulb’s parent company “Simple Energy” made losses of 129 million pounds in 2019, and 59 million pounds in 2020 - Recovering this money and making an operational profit is surely a factor in the recent price hike ?

Hi @Chrimmy_1958,

I’m sorry that you’re unhappy with the increase, as we’ve said, this isn’t something that we take lightly and can understand the frustration that many people are experiencing.

We are still £81 below the price cap set by Ofgem and aim to keep our prices as fair and transparent as possible, so any questions about this are welcome.

In regards to your smart meters, we’re working on getting all meters installed by other suppliers onto our network. I can take a look into your meters and see what we can do, I’ve sent you an email so we can look into this further, and we can keep in touch about this there.

I never understand the cheaper than price capetc, for me I can get energy cheaper elsewhere or not thats the deciding factor.
Also what does competitive mean these days? even some of the most expensive energy companies use the term competitive, a bit like affordable housing attached to houses that very few could afford to buy.

I’m leaving Bulb not only because of the price increases but when I joined there seemed to be a real philosophy within the company that the customer would have control and the focus on customer services was excellent and friendly. But now they aren’t in the top 10 cheapest, they’ve changed my direct debit without me choosing to do so and the responses on the forums from Bulb seem less friendly and more generic.

Since initiating my switch I’ve had a text message saying I can cancel my switch as well as 3 emails (2 of which were on the same day) and now a phone call. Considering their own FAQ on leaving says I don’t need to do anything but contact a new supplier, I’m quite surprised at this level of interest now.

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Hi @MrsP8,

I am sorry that you didn’t feel satisfied with the service we offered. While we may not be cheapest, we still believe we are great value for money. As our tariff is variable, prices can come down in the future too, so if it was just cost that made the decision for you please keep an eye on us in the future.

We get in touch when we get a switch notification to make sure it was you that decided to switch (and not part of an erroneous transfer), and to give you an opportunity to give us any feedback if that’s something you want to do.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Georgie

If your prices do ever come down (something I don’t think has ever happened in the years I’ve been with you) I may well switch back but at this point your prices are quite far down in the price comparisons, even according to the graph on Bulbs own homepage. Plus “value” is to me about more than the price I pay, it’s a combination of several things as I mentioned before.

With regards to all the contacts, I might accept your explanation if I had received one contact that said something like “sorry you’re leaving, if it wasn’t you get in touch” but I’ve been contacted multiple times, I’ve even had two further attempts to contact me since my message. If you’re going to make contact, then include that in what to expect on your FAQs which says nothing about Bulb making sure it was me.

£81 for a typical home? I live in a 3 bed semi and just received a bill for £200! I want out immediately but, I bet I won’t be able to switch until this ridiculous issue is resolved?

Hi @master.chef, as I mentioned in another thread, I’ve just sent you an email about this :+1:t2: