Utilities

The latest news and tips on those monthlies

British Gas won't give best deal to customers

If you want the cheapest energy deal from British Gas, you better not be a loyal customer who has given them money for years, because their cheapest tariff is only available to new customers. Of course, they're not the first company to try and tempt customers into the fray with a cheap offer for newbies,…

SSE ditch free number - how to ring them, or anyone, for free

SSE may have dropped their prices, but they'll be trying claw money back in other ways, like scrapping the free phone number customers can call them on. The energy company have stopped using the 0800 number, and instead, fired up the 0345 numbers, which will cost you (up to) 9p a minute from a line land,…

Is Spark Energy the worst energy supplier ever?

Sometimes, businesses are so bad it is almost literally beyond belief, and smaller energy supplier Spark Energy has now been fined by Ofgem for falling squarely in that category. The crime? On top of sky-high charges and inaccurate billing systems, Spark Energy simply ignored customers’ requests to leave the supplier and just continued to bill…

Water companies the latest to be outed for sending bogus debt collection letters

It seems no-one is safe from scam debt collection agencies. Hot on the heels of banks, energy companies and payday lenders, the latest industry group to admit inventing ominous debt chasers is the water companies, with more than half the UK's water suppliers copping to the practice.. Twelve of the UK's largest water suppliers told…

Smiley faces can be used to help cut energy bills

Because we’re all stupid apes, apparently our subconscious responds to smiley face or sad face emoticons. And equally, we all have an innate desire to keep up with the Jones’. A study by Sustainable Homes used both emojis and good old fashioned shame to encourage people to use less energy - giving them a smiley…

People in their 40s are the most skint

People in their 40s – browbeaten by kids and constant trips to Asda to buy trampolines and large amounts of breakfast cereal – are most likely to feel the financial squeeze. So says Halifax’s Money Attitudes survey, which found that people struggling along with young families and an increasingly dim sense of their place in…

Smart meters are so smart. Unless you live in a flat

Perhaps you’ve got more pressing things on your mind, like wondering how you’re going to pay your utility bills this winter. But if you cast your mind back to a few years ago when everyone got excited about installing Smart Meters, you might remember that Ofgem wanted them rolled out across the board so you…

Ofgem's advise tenants to switch energy suppliers

Good news for tenants! Ofgem are advising people in rented accommodation to switch energy suppliers - and make a potential saving of £190. Ofgem, like some nice dad who sorts out all your mundane tasks, has published guidelines for tenants on switching their energy suppliers. According to a survey they commissioned, 77% of tenants have…

Check your bills – errors cost households up to £400

You can probably think of a million things that are more fun than going through your household bills with a fine toothcomb - like putting socks into balls, de-mildewing the grout in the bathroom or repeatedly stabbing yourself in the eye with a blunt pencil. But it might save you hundreds of pounds, as bill…

250,000 refuse to pay Thames Water bill

Water customers in-and-around London face bigger bills to make up for the quarter of a million households that are refusing to pay their bills. Thames Water reckon that unapid water and sewerage bills rose to £93million in 2011, up nearly 90% on the year before. Simon Evans, a spokesman for Thames Water said: "We work very…

The disgusting two-tier 'service' provided by United Utilities

Avid Bitterwallet reader David Littlewood is also an avid fan of the cool refreshing water that spews out of his taps with the help of United Utilities, but he’s a little bit less than happy with the fairness of their service. As you’ll see from the bill he forwarded to us, the United Utilities water…

Worst Company In Britain - United Utilities v BT

It’s another day, and here’s another pair of companies who have cheesed off enough of you for them to make it on to the shortlist of Bitterwallet’s Worst Company In Britain 2009 competition. Today’s pairing sees United Utilities square up against the shitty might of BT – which of them will progress into the second…

Retired art teacher stomps all over npower - and he's not finished yet

Let’s kidnap retired art teacher Robert Bramwell. Let’s grab him in the street, bundle him into the back of a van, then speed him off to a secret location. There, we’ll strip him. Yes, we’re going to strip him… and put him in a superhero costume, cos Robert Bramwell is a big bloody consumer hero.…