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

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

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?

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.

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.

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 :frowning:

@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.