It’s true what they say about getting older and wiser. You get to a point where there are some things that you realise you simply can’t put up with – like paying more than you should for your energy bills or accepting bad customer service. So, it’s no surprise that more than three quarters or 78% of canny over 65s have switched their energy supplier at some point according to latest figures from the Ombudsman. But what if you’re in the remaining 22% that haven’t switched – if you’re happy, it costs nothing to compare and see if you could be making a saving; but if you’re one of the estimated 300,000 of over 65s who feel trapped and don’t know what to do, then read on.
Switch and save
A change is as good as a rest – isn’t that how the saying goes? But switching energy supplier could also potentially save you money – and quite a lot of it. Which is great news because spending money on bills is boring – it’s far more exciting to spend it on things you actually enjoy.
And that’s exactly what over 65s are doing. But according to our Energy Snapshot this age group often saves the most on average but make up quite a small proportion of our switchers. So what’s stopping them?
Can’t switch, won’t switch?
If you want to switch but don’t feel you can, you’re not alone, because of the 300,000 or so over 65s who haven’t switched, 24% said they felt too intimidated to make the change or even make a complaint. Consumers had a range of issues that they felt hindered their ability to do this, such as:
- They couldn’t hear or understand the person at the other end of the telephone (23%)
- They struggled to read their bills as the print was too small (11%)
- Taking a long time to get through to the right person (29%)
- Having to repeatedly make complaints before the issue was resolved (26%)
- Being transferred from person to person without anyone taking responsibility (30%)
Switching should be a simple process and more than half (54%) of people who had switched agreed that it was easy to do. Plus, with the government backed Energy Switch Guarantee so there should be no interruptions to your service if your energy suppliers are signed up to the scheme – your existing and new energy supplier should work together to make the transition as smooth as possible. All you need to do, is make the decision to switch in the first place.
If you feel like your energy supplier isn’t listening to you and you want to stand up and make your voice heard, then it could be a good idea to switch online to avoid having a difficult conversation with your existing supplier. If you do call your supplier here are some things to consider:
- Be clear about what you’re complaining about and decide what end result you hope to achieve (make notes if this helps)
- Keep complaints simple – discuss them one at a time
- Be honest with your supplier, if there’s anything that you’re at fault with, then own up
- Listen to what they have to say
- Keep notes of who you spoke to and when
If you have no luck with your supplier and you want to pursue it, you can contact the Ombudsman service – it’s free and you’ll get impartial advice.
If you do want to switch, whether it’s to save money, get a better service, or both, then just comparethemarket.com, we’ve made it even easier, because we’ll bring all our deals to you so there’s no faffing around – simples!