Scottish gas

Have just received a letter from them "saying" that the rate is going up (6%) but that I can fix my rate as I am a "existing customer". This "fix and fall" rate is guaranteed not to co up. i felt that if the rates fall I will be fixed in to a higher rate, but the letter states that if the rate goes up the price to me wont but if the rates fall my price will reduce.
The letter sent to me (see link) is an application for this "Fix and Fall" rate I cannot see why I have to apply to pay less money (or rather I can't see why anyone would not). What is the 'gotcha' that I can't see?
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On Tue, 16 Oct 2012, "soup" writ:

Not sure if that isn't the same offer that British Gas have just made to me.
"By taking advantage of our Fix & Fall November 2013 tariff, which is exclusive to existing customers, you can fix your prices at our new Standard rates until 30th November 2013**. On Fix & Fall we guarantee not only that your prices won't go up, but if our Standard tariff falls, your prices will too."
Isn't it the "you can fix your prices at our new Standard rates" bit that catches you?
Seems to me that you will pay the new higher rate but not suffer any price increases in the next year.
--
P

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What do the price comparison sites say about it?
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Read the fine print about how much they reduce. On the British Gas one, it isn't clear to me exactly what they mean (I can read it two ways).
Also, they lock you with a small exit fee against moving to another supplier, so if another supplier reduces prices first, your options to take that up are reduced.
But it doesn't look like a bad deal at a first glance.
--
Andrew Gabriel
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writes

It's a multi pronged attack:
1. Many busy or lazy people wont apply or will mean to but forget, they will pay the higher charge.
2. There will be a lock-in to the deal, you will have to pay a penalty to move before the end of the deal so they will have customer continuity which will be worth money to them.
3. Their standard price isn't going to fall so forget that carrot.
If you chose to move you have 20 working days to inform them that you wish to switch and they must maintain the price until you do switch so you can initiate a switch in 3 weeks time and continue paying the same for the extra 4-6 weeks the switch will take to come about.
Have a look at the switching sites and see what other deals are about, for my area, BG aren't anything special.
Ones to avoid in my view:
First Utility - a bit like the Talk Talk of utility suppliers NPower (or whatever they morphed into) - Dual fuel & DD discounts come as year end bonuses so you lose out it you don't stay for just over a multiple of 12mths.
--
fred
it's a ba-na-na . . . .
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It's like long term savings rates. They wouldn't offer it if they thought they stand a good chance of losing out. In other words you're probably better off on the standard variable tariff.
MBQ
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On 17/10/2012 12:01, Man at B&Q wrote:

Could it be something to do with this, like get them locked in before they tell us about the cheaper rates?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20001111
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On 19/10/2012 20:43, ss wrote:

British Gas have already dropped a lot of their historic accounts and moved existing customers on to their new very limited range of accounts. None of the new accounts were cheaper than the equivalent old accounts.
Recently on a radio programme, a representative from one of the switching or consumer sites stated that 75% of UK customers were paying the highest rate that the utility companies are charging AND in some cases the difference between the cheapest and most expensive deals was 50%. If this is true those of us that have already found the cheaper accounts will probably lose out when the Government force the utility companies to put everyone on the cheapest rate. Prices will have to rise to maintain profit margins.
--
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On Fri, 19 Oct 2012 22:44:28 +0100, alan wrote:

It does seem a lot of people don't seem able to track down the "best value" deal for them. The maths isn't difficult and with computers/spreadsheets a POP. The hard bit is finding the tariff in the first place from the suplliers, they normally bury that as deep as they can. I find it simpler to use a switching site then verify that the switching site tariff information is up to date (most have links to the suppliers buried tariff information.

I fear that you may well be correct. B-(
Forcing the companies to inform their customers of lower priced tariffs is not the way to do it. It distorts the market but the Government don't seem to worry about that sort of thing these days, see FIT payments and windmill subsidies.
IMHO they should be simply making the companies present the tariff information in a clear and consistent form, across all companies. Perhaps even ban the "typical use"/"average bill" and the "<sub-sub-script>up to</sub-sub-script>500 saving" advertising. If they want to use "typical use"/"average bill" have them state how much energy that represents but not in 6pt type at the bottom of the ad but in the body of the ad in a sensible font size.
I suspect the companies will just come up with even more creative ways of trying to keep people on the higher tariffs, points in a rewards scheme, shopping vouchers if you don't switch...
--
Cheers
Dave.




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On 20/10/2012 10:12, Dave Liquorice wrote:

Switching sites can distort the real costs by offering "cashback" when switching. I have also found that using a switching site with last year's real energy usage and using a supplier site with the same information gives different results - the switching sites giving a cheaper price.
What I've also seen is people recommending the company they are with because they have "done the research". Unfortunately if you use a certain amount of energy per year "company A" may have the best deal but if you use 25% less energy or 25% more energy "company B" or "company C" may be cheaper.
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You do realise that 50% of the population has an IQ of less than 100?
--
Today is Pungenday, the 1st day of The Aftermath in the YOLD 3178
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Not in today's thrusting, dynamic, modern world, they won't. If, thanks to sharing, caring, al-in-it-together Dave, everyone can now expect lower than average fuel bills and darling Michael Gove is making all schools better than average, why should anybody put up with having lower than average intelligence?
Nick
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Nick Odell wrote:

Actually in fact the majority of people are below average intelligence with the few absolute geniuses (such as myself) being compensated for by many stupider than average people, but only slightly stupider.
The mean is only the median in 'normal' distributions, and, let's face it, in populations containing harry's and drivels, its anything but normal.
--
Ineptocracy

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Apparently you misunderstood what the psychiatrist meant when he referred to you as "special".
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On 20/10/2012 14:08, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

As it happens, I looked up the distribution for the UK when this thread started and it does actually appear to be a "normal" distribution.
SteveW
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On 21/10/2012 00:50, SteveW wrote:

However there is so much tweaking behind the scenes! There are IQ tests for low intelligence, high intelligence and middle/broad range intelligence - and people with afflictions which mean they cannot complete standard tests. Tests for different eras. And when two tests don't agree they massage things to something make them align better. It would be pretty amazing if they had not shoe-horned the data into a near-perfect Gaussian distribution - almost regardless of reality.
--
Rod

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On 21/10/12 08:00, polygonum wrote:

ie you start with the premise that it 'ought' to be a normal distribution, then you justify massaging the data so it fits.
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djc


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On 20/10/12 10:12, Dave Liquorice wrote:

Yes, somehow it seems all these companies find it easier to employ marketing people than engineers etc.
So, as with banks and interest rates, and phone charges, so with power supplies: they just keep changing the rules to create a constant churn, all the while hoping they can outpace most people who don't want to spend all their time reviewing prices.
--
djc


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On 16/10/2012 11:49, soup wrote:

If it's the same offer a BG the gotcha is that you are fixing the price at the "standard rate" and not a lower rate that you can get with one of their other accounts (web account, self meter read, dual fuel, direct debit, paperless billing etc.). The fixed price may be up to 7% higher than an alternative deal with the same company.
You will only end up paying less if the company raise their prices again by a double digit percentage figure before winter ends.
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On 19/10/2012 22:31, alan wrote:

British Gas give some comparisons based on an "average" customer (prices are Nov 2012)
Their cheapest (dual fuel) deal 99 / month
The equivalent Fix and Fall for November 2013 is 106 /month The equivalent Fix and Fall for March 2014 is 109 /month
In true price comparison confusion the example probably assumes that you use the same amount of fuel during the winter as you do during the summer.
If prices do not rise by November next year the additional cost for the Fix and Fall deal is around 84
If prices rise by, say, another 7% in January those on the Fix and Fall dual will then be paying exactly the same price as those on the cheapest deal but will already have paid an extra 21+ for the privilege.
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