A fake choice… September 26, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Irish consumers have collectively wasted close to €1 billion over the last five years by spending way more than necessary to heat and light their homes.
Now Pricewatch knows that number might sound absurdly inflated at first glance but, if anything, we are underestimating the nation’s wanton wastefulness when it comes to energy.
But to make the savings, people need to switch, and a staggering number of Irish people don’t bother. According to figures from the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) more than half of Irish consumers have never switched their energy provider, while the numbers who have switched in the last 12 months is a whole lot smaller.
A less-comprehensive Pricewatch Twitter poll of more than 500 people last week echoed these numbers. We asked people if they switched provider annually, occasionally or never. Only 15 per cent said they switched annually, while 40 per cent said they had never switched provider.
They are all wasting money and just how much is really quite shocking.
I was fascinated by the fact that (at the time) there was only one comment. It went along these lines:
The author does not take into account the value consumers place on customer service. Having changed providers several times over the years, I have experienced middling to dreadful customer service from the cheaper providers. Incorrect bills, unauthorised deductions from my bank account, weeks and months of trying to engage with companies to have their mistakes rectified… I have been with my current provider for 3 years and am just not willing to take the risk of changing again, even if I could be saving €200 a year.
I’ve no idea whether that comment is an accurate outline of the situation, I’ve not had those problems – though getting the meter read is a nightmare which despite repeated requests to contact me re arranging an appointment no response. But I can’t help but think that Pope et al are missing the point. I don’t want to change my energy provider any more than I want the near continual calls from my mobile provider or similar from my internet provider in regard to ‘cheaper’ options. I don’t want the hassle. All I want is a good service that continues into the medium to long term. I’d vastly prefer if these were socialised services. But hey, that isn’t going to happen. Failing that I don’t want to be engaged in a sort of perpetual bidding process with energy or other providers. It seems a pointless and cosmetic exercise whose purpose appears more to justify the ‘liberalisation’ of a market for which the benefits of liberalisation are difficult to understand.