Go onto any price comparison site. Select one of the big utility companies. Have a look at how many different tariffs there are.
Here is the result of one quick scan I did for electricity tariffs. It includes dual fuel, but only on a variable direct debit.
- NPower have 29 different tariffs
- British Gas have 58 tariffs
- Scottish Power 15 tariffs
- EON have 10 tariffs
- OVO 54 tariffs
Don't forget this is only variable direct debit. God knows how long the full list of tariffs is.
This is not done for "customer choice" this is done to obfuscate and confuse. It is a deliberate policy of making things difficult to understand so as to undermine the customers visibility of what they are really paying.
But even forgetting about the massive casquade of apparently different though essentially identical tariffs, there are even worse liberties taken with consumers.
Take some elderly relatives of mine.
They are hardly infirm and are still very much in command of their faculties.
But they don't get on with the internet and they come from a period of time when Utility Companies were trusted and held in high regard. A bit like the banks (need I say more?)
Needless to say, these fine people are inevitably on a high tariff.
Nobody at Npower has told them that they could save £150 simply by changing their current tariff for another virtually identical one.
But it gets worse.
Npower have recently increased their monthly direct debit.
They have done this even though NPower currently owe them £400.
Thats is a continual and increasing overcharge worth currently over half their annual bill.
A free loan from the old to the averacious bastards at another greedy energy utility.
This is shameful. Dare I say for any normal business it would also be regarded as immoral. An deplorable activity bordering on criminality.
Energy Utilities are given a virtual profit guarantee and an easy market.
I don't think that it is too much to ask for them to behave in a moral and decent manner.
Until this scandal is addressed, more and more people are going to be forced into energy poverty. More and more of the old and vulnerable will die for the lack of a little heat.
Just so the utilies can continue amassing their huge immoral fortunes.
This has got to stop.
But is there anyone in government with the balls to address the problem?
I have my doubts.