Did The Big Switch actually cost you money?

14 June 2012

lightswitchYou all already know about The Big Switch, and how it turned out to be, at best, a damp squid* . However, it is now being claimed that, far from saving money, The Big Switch actually ended up costing the 280,000 households who signed up a total of £21.6m

SwitchGasandElectric.com claims that waiting for The Big Switch process caused a delay of up to 16 weeks, during which time, a number of cheap deals expired. Had these households switched for an average annual saving of £250, the total amount they could have saved over 4 months would have been £76.92 each, but they were only rewarded at the end of the switching period with a second-rate, non-market-beating, limited tariff.

Sally Hill, managing director of SwitchGasandElectric.com, said “This campaign was started with the best of intentions – to persuade the millions of Britons who are wastefully spending too much on their energy bills by not switching to the cheapest provider. But… it was never going to work.”

“This hopeless campaign never offered a thing for the most vulnerable customers on prepayment meters and, worse still, by falsely building up the hopes of almost 300,000 households, it delayed them from switching supplier for four months,” she stumbled on, grammatically incorrectly, before finishing with the hyperbole that “not only did 300,000 people spend four months paying excessively high prices, but the deals available to them at the end of the campaign were actually worse than at the start.”

But is this right? While the site is clearly a competitor in the whole switch-your-energy-supplier game, with a website using underhand SEO techniques to scramble to the top of the search engines, they may have a point, assuming these people would have thought about switching if it weren’t for The Big Switch. Which was part of the point of the campaign. Still, good job none of you lot were daft enough to sign up for it then eh?

*if you don’t know why this is the correct idiom, you clearly watch the wrong kinds of television.

11 comments

  • Jing
    I avoid locking myself into fixed energy tariffs now too. All too often, they only offer this when the expectation is that prices are going to decrease, and they'll be pressured to drop prices anyway. And look at fuel prices now...
  • ZingDing
    'she stumbled on, grammatically incorrectly' Not much different to BW then eh?
  • Mustapha S.
    “This hopeless campaign never offered a thing for the most vulnerable customers on prepayment meters".... By most vulnerable, I believe they mean tax dodging scroungers on benefits where the electricity cost is starting to eat in to their fags, booze and ladbrokes budget?
  • Mustapha S.
    Why does every comment I make have to be moderated? How the hell am I supposed to troll now?
  • Chewbacca
    @ Mustapha. Been a long time coming, the ridiculous trolling on here has gotten out of hand. Sweary and controversial posts? Fine. Inane ramblings and comments about "downturn abbey" and foxes? Utterly pathetic. Go BW!
  • AR
    IT Crowd!
  • vibeone b.
    Saw this but didn't sign up. And glad I didn't now! Wow what a disaster.
  • Tom
    How does a sitemap with lots of kw rich pages work when it's just duplicate content?
  • zax
    WTF ? I thought The Big Switch was to do with going Digital ?
  • Raggedy
    At last, a decent photo to go with the article. I particulary like the right hand switch where the cracks cascade across the facia, if not suggesting the rampant decay of urban civilization, but actually promoting it. Time for a glass of wine and a box of tissues.
  • Stuart
    So industry standard methods of optimising a site's readability to a search engine are underhanded? Most major website's utilise site maps (in either this html form or alternatively in xml) to allow users better access to information on their site straight from their search engine of choice. If your website does not utilise one (which I seriously doubt) I would suggest you search for a competent web developer.

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