You might have noticed the latest British Gas advertising campaign, as they attempt to stem the flow of customers away from them following their recent price hikes – which look set to continue. The campaign focuses on customers who come back to British Gas, claiming one returns every 60 seconds. However the Evening Standard City Spy highlights another figure they were forced to reveal by the Stock Exchange.
Advertising. Marvellous medium. British Gas billboards are trumpeting that one customer comes back to it on average every 60 seconds. What the ad campaign does not say â€“ but what the company has been forced to admit to the Stock Exchange â€“ is that, unfortunately, it is on average losing existing customers at a rate of about one every 22 seconds.
Since as you may know I work for one of the companies that have benefited from customers moving from British Gas, this did raise a few smiles today!
Having said that, one of the interesting points that the campaign highlights is that money isn’t the only criteria against which to choose your energy supplier, despite what Energywatch and the government say at times. However what it is worth bearing in mind is the other figure quoted in this BBC article, which is that about half of all consumers have never bothered to switch, and are still with their pre-deregulation suppliers. So in some ways that implies that many of the people who are now switching back, will be the same people switching away some time in the future, churning from supplier to supplier.
As a final point, if you’re tempted to switch supplier, EnergyWatch is a good place to start. Aside from independant advice on comparing prices, they also keep track of the quality of customer service, including keeping a tally of complaints – interesting reading…