Faster Switching: Ofgem's proposes 1 day switching by default

Exciting news (it is if you’re in Team Bulb), Ofgem has opened up a consultation on making switching energy supplier take 1 day by default.

We think this is a great idea. It will mean that people who move into a new home won’t be stuck on a deemed tariff for 3 weeks, and it will hopefully make switching seem less intimidating too. Plus, people are less likely to forget to give a meter reading if they can do it when they’re starting their switch.

But it will mean that there won’t be a meaningful cooling off period to review T&Cs in. Switchers would have to either read it before switching, read it quickly after, or not read them at all. Maybe Ofgem could have a 14 day period after switching where suppliers can’t charge an exit fee.

What do you think? Is this good news?

Here’s Ofgem’s statement on it -

It’s good news, as 21 days even now feels like too long a period.
I can get a phone or tv or internet contract; I dont have to wait that long to switch, same with most other contracts.

If anything, the fact Bulb does what the big six do and force a customer to wait out the 14 day Cooling Off Period is a disappointment. You already should be better than this. Is it really that costly if someone does decide to exercise there right to cooling off? It’s not as if you charge exit fees or anything so a customer could still leave days after cooling period…

Hi @andrew1994 - thanks for sharing your thoughts. The 14 day cooling off period is actually a regulatory requirement from Ofgem - at the moment, we don’t have a choice about whether to offer it or not. The idea is that it gives switchers time to review their new supplier’s T&Cs and have a bit of a think about their decision.

Hmm, in practice I think most people have made their mind up either before switching (I know I spent a good few weeks before settling for Bulb), or shortly after purchasing :smiley: It be ideal I think if either ofgem push for 1 day transfers or at least make the 14 day rule less strict if that’s the case. Like if the Terms are sent and the customer is given up to 14 days to read it, but the moment they click a button or sign something saying ‘I am happy and agree to the terms’, the 14 day cooling off period is stopped and the switch process starts - Could bring a current transfer from 21 days to 7 days potentially.

Right now transferring seems so slow compared to other contractual purchases like Phone Contracts where its instant.

I also don’t know the ins and outs, but my assumption (without all the info potentially), is literally the first 14 days of the Switch is nothing. Literally; nothing happening. I know Bulb send the email after 9 for ‘Reassurances’ but all it does is repeat the payment amount which you knew the moment they signed up (so no new information… or at least I think) Please correct me if I’m wrong. So much time wasted - even if its ofgem’s out of touch policies.

@andrew1944 Different people will have different opinions about whether not having a cooling off period is a good thing. Plenty of people sign up and then choose to switch when they know more about a supplier but plenty also do lots of research.

But we do agree, in this day and age 21 days to switch seems like a lifetime, one day switching would be an exciting change to the industry!