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Price comparison sites caught lying over the phone

Price Comparison Websites have been hiding the cheapest deals over the phone as well as online. Listen to our recordings.

uSwitch hide six cheapest gas deals, costing the consumer over £60

  • On the 29th January 2015 in the Scottish Hydro (North Scotland) region, the caller spoke to uSwitch about switching his gas supply. The caller was advised that Scottish Power's Online Fixed Price Energy February 2016 at £747.54 was the cheapest gas tariff available. In reality the cheapest tariff was £62.57 cheaper, Zog Energy's Mercury 24 at £684.97.
  • Scottish Power's Online Fixed Price Energy February 2016 is said to be the cheapest based on the information provided
  • The uSwitch representative failed to mention that there were six cheaper tariffs (from Zog Energy, Green Star Energy, Better Energy and Daligas) than the Scottish Power tariff.
  • uSwitch are not paid a commission by Zog Energy, Green Star Energy, Better Energy or Daligas.

Transcript

Caller: Good morning, welcome to uSwitch you're through to XX, how can I help you today?

uSwitch representative: Hi there, yeah, I'm looking to get a quote for just my gas supply please.

[At this point the caller provided post code details and other details requested by the representative]

uSwitch representative: Let me say, all calls are recorded we're totally free and impartial and we're accredited by Ofgem. Can I confirm you're the bill payer?

Caller: I am.

[At this point the caller confirmed the rest of his details about his current supplier]

uSwitch representative: And do you know what the annual usage is there?

Caller: I certainly do. It's 20460.

[At this point the caller confirmed he wished to pay by direct debit and to manage the account online if it's cheaper]

uSwitch representative: So the cheapest one for gas only will be from Scottish Power. With them it's a fixed deal until 29th February 2016.

[At this point the uSwitch representative confirmed some more details of the plan]

Caller: Ok, so you're saying that's the cheapest one for me to go for then really?

uSwitch representative: For the gas, alone.

[At this point the uSwitch representative and caller discuss the caller's electricity supplier]

Caller: So you're saying if I wanted to go just exclusively for the gas, the best one to go for is Scottish Power right?

uSwitch representative: Yes

[The caller says he will give the uSwitch representative a call once he's discussed it with his partner]

Screenshot showing the whole of market


uSwitch hide four cheapest dual fuel deals, costing the consumer over £30

  • On the 29thJanuary 2015 in the Scottish Hydro (North Scotland) region, the caller spoke to uSwitch about switching his dual fuel supply. The caller was advised that First Utility's iSave Fixed March 2016 (v44) at £1402.16 was the cheapest dual fuel tariff available. In reality the cheapest tariff was £30.90 cheaper, Extra Energy's Fresh Fixed Price Jan 2016 v10 at £1371.26.
  • First Utility's iSave Fixed March 2016 (v44) is said to be the cheapest dual fuel tariff based on the information provided.
  • The uSwitch representative failed to mention that there were four cheaper dual fuel tariffs, from Extra Energy and Green Star Energy
  • Extra Energy and Green Star Energy do not pay a commission to uSwitch.

Transcript

Caller: Yeah, Hi there I'm looking to get a quote for my gas and electric please.

uSwitch representative: You've called the right number sir, have you ever used uSwitch over the phone before.

Caller: No I haven't.

uSwitch representative: That's alright mate. I'm just going quickly give you the basics, all calls are recorded, we're free and impartial and we're regulated by Ofgem. Is that all going to be ok?

Caller: Yeah that's fine.

[At this point the caller provided post code details and other details requested by the representative]

uSwitch representative: Now the next thing we need to do is to measure your consumption rates now by any chance, do you happen to have your kilowatt consumption for 12 months available

Caller: I do yes.

uSwitch representative: Perfect, so when you're ready sir, would you mind starting with the electricity first please.

Caller: The electricity is 5062.

uSwitch representative: 5062. And did they say for the gas.

Caller: 20460

[At this point the caller confirmed the rest of his details, including that he wished to pay by direct debit and to manage the account online if it's cheaper]

uSwitch representative: The best option I can switch you over to is a choice between two, now just a quick question, or I can talk through both, but just incase I can break it down to which one you might want to go for, one has a cancellation of £60 the other of £10 and the differential for the savings is about £30 a year. So do you think having a cancellation of £60 is an issue or are you just looking for the best saving?

Caller: I'm just looking for the best saving, that's perfect.

uSwitch representative: No worries mate. So the company is called First Utility and the name of the plan is called the iSave Fixed March 2016 and it says your yearly spend on this one will be £1402.16 for the year. That works out to a monthly direct debit of £116.85 a month, and finally your yearly save is £490.01 for the year.

[At this point the uSwitch representative confirmed the rest of details of the plan]

Caller: Ok, let's just confirm everything you've told me. So you're saying that First Utility is the cheapest one for me at £1402.16 which is a monthly direct debit of £116.85. Is that right?

uSwitch representative: That is correct sir.

[Caller says they will call back once they've decided if they want to go ahead and switch]

Caller: Just to clarify, the cheapest one is First Utility on the iSave Fixed March 2016 and that's about £1400?

uSwitch representative: That's exactly right sir.

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uSwitch hide three cheapest gas deals, costing the consumer £18

  • On the 15th January 2015 in the Norweb (North West) region, the caller spoke to uSwitch about switching his gas supply. The caller was advised that Npower's Fixed Price until April 2016 costing £539.76 was the cheapest gas tariff avaliable. In reality the cheapest tariff was £18 cheaper, Zog Energy's Mercury 24 at £521.63.
  • Npower's Fixed Energy Online April 2016 is said to be the cheapest gas tariff based on the information provided.
  • The uSwitch representative failed to mention that there were three cheaper tariffs than the Npower tariff.
  • uSwitch do not get paid a commission from either Zog Energy or Better Energy.

Transcript

uSwitch representative: Good morning welcome to uSwitch, you're through to XXX. How can I help?

Caller: Hi there, yeah, I'm just looking to get a price for my gas supply please.

[At this point the caller provided post code details and other details requested by the representative]

Caller: There is a gas supply, its literally just being installed. I've had my first bill from British Gas, but I'm just on their standard tariff. I've got an estimated usage for the year as well.
uSwitch representative: And what's the estimate usage you've got there for the year

Caller: 14321

[At this point the caller confirm the rest of his details, including that he wished to pay by direct debit and to manage the account online if it's cheaper]

uSwitch representative: Cheapest supplier for the gas for you would be Npower. It's a fixed price until April 2016. No cancellation fees if you wish to leave for the gas. On that consumption it would be £233.36 cheaper than British Gas's standard tariff...estimated annual cost on that consumption is £539.76 and the direct debit to cover that usage would £44.98.

Caller: £44.98. So you're saying for me that Npower is the cheapest for me on that sort of usage then?

uSwitch representative: For gas only yes.

[At this point the caller and represenative dicussed some of the slightly more expensive tariffs available]

Caller: So what you're saying is for my usage in my area the best one to go for is Npower. Is that right?

uSwitch representative: The cheapest one...yeah.

[Caller says they will call back once they've decided if they want to go ahead and switch]

Screenshot showing the whole of market


Money Supermarket hide cheapest gas deal, costing the consumer £11

  • On the 28th January 2015 in the Seeboard (South East) region, the caller spoke to MoneySupermarket about switching his gas supply. The caller was advised that Green Star Energy's Rate Saver 12 months fixed version 1501 paperless tariff at £538 was the cheapest gas tariff available. In reality the cheapest tariff was £11 cheaper, Zog Energy's Mercury 24 at £527.
  • Green Star Energy's Rate Saver 12 months fixed version 1501 paperless tariff is said to be the cheapest based on the information provided
  • The MoneySupermarket representative failed to mention that there were two cheaper tariffs than the Green Star Energy tariff.
  • Zog Energy do not pay MoneySupermarket a commission.

Transcript

MoneySupermarket representative: Good afternoon, MoneySupermarket.com, you're through to XX. How may I help?

Caller: Hi there, yeah, I'm looking to get a quote for my gas supplier please.

[At this point the caller provided post code, address and other details requested by the representative]

MoneySupermarket representative: Do you have your annual usage in kWhs?

Caller: I do. It's 14541 kWh.

[At this point the caller confirmed the rest of his details, including that he wished to pay by direct debit and to manage the account online if it's cheaper]

MoneySupermarket representative: Ok, so whilst we do compare all products online only some providers will allow us to complete the switch over the phone, so I'm going to talk you through the potential companies and if there's anything else you're interested just let me know.

Caller: Okay.

[At this point the representative confirmed some more details]

MoneySupermarket representative: So the results I'm getting back for you today is Green Star Energy with a saving of £279 and that's the...

Caller: Okay.

MoneySupermarket representative: That's going to put you on their Rate Saver 12 months fixed price, that gives you a personal saving of £279, which is an annual bill of £538. Which if I divide by 12 is a monthly payment of £45 on your gas.

Caller: Okay, so that's a bit cheaper than what I'm paying now then.

MoneySupermarket representative: Yep, so is that something you'd be interested in signing up to today.

Caller: Yeah, I've not heard of Green Star Energy before can you just go through the top three for me. Is that alright?

MoneySupermarket representative: Yep certainly, you've got Green Star. Green Star is the cheapest...

[At this point the representative went through the other two plans in the top three]

Caller: Ok, so you're saying that Green Star is the cheapest one for me to go for then?

MoneySupermarket representative: That's correct, yes.

[Caller says they will call back once they've decided if they want to go ahead and switch]

Caller: So let me just clarify what you're saying. You're saying that Green Star Energy's the cheapest, and then second cheapest is Scottish Power and third is a company called Daligas

MoneySupermarket representative: That's correct.

Screenshot showing the whole of market


Compare the Market hide cheapest gas deal, costing the consumer £11

  • On the 30th January 2015 in the Seeboard (South East) region, the caller spoke to Compare the Market about switching his gas supply. The caller was advised that Green Star Energy's Rate Saver 12 months fixed 1501 paperless tariff at £538 was the cheapest gas tariff available. In reality the cheapest tariff was £11 cheaper, Zog Energy's Mercury 12 at £527.
  • Green Star Energy is said to be the cheapest based on the information provided
    The Compare the Market representative failed to mention that there were two cheaper tariffs than the Green Star Energy tariff.
    Zog Energy do not pay Compare the Market a commission.

Transcript

Compare the Market representative: Good morning you're through to XX, are you calling for a price comparison on your home energy bills today?

Caller: Yes I am.

[At this point the caller provided post code details and other details requested by the representative]

Compare the Market representative: Do you have an annual statement or know your usage in kWh?

Caller: I certainly do. It's 14541

Compare the Market representative: Lovely.

[At this point the caller confirm the rest of his details, including that he wished to pay by direct debit and to manage the account online if it's cheaper]

Compare the Market representative: I'm now comparing your prices with a wide range of suppliers available through ComparetheMarket.com to see how much you can save on your energy bills. So, your personal projection is coming out at £817 per year and your comparison is based on that figure, and there's no cancellation fees on your current tariff. Quickly ranking it in third, second and first place for you. Third place is Npower, second place is Scottish Power and first place is Green Star Energy.

Caller: Lovely

Compare the Market representative: Quickly going back to second place with Scottish Power, the tariff name Online Fixed Price Energy February 2016 that's giving you an estimated annual saving of £270 which is a 33% saving, with an estimated annual spend of £547 and an estimated monthly direct debit of £45.60.

Caller: Lovely

Compare the Market representative: In first place is Green Star Energy, the tariff name Rate Saver 12 months fixed 1501 paperless, that's giving you an estimated annual saving of £279 which is a 34% saving. With an estimated annual spend of £538 and an estimated monthly direct debit £44.81. So there's massive savings to be made there.

Caller: Of course.

Compare the Market representative: So if you want, I can set the Green Star energy one up for you today?

Caller: Yeah. Let me just clarify what you've said. So you've said that the three, the top three cheapest are Npower, and then it's Scottish Power and then it's Green Star Energy, which is the cheapest one for me.

Compare the Market representative: Yep.

[The caller says he will call his partner to confirm and organises a call back later]

Caller: Let me just clarify what you've said. So the cheapest one for me and the one I'm probably going to go for is Green Star Energy and that's in at £538?

Compare the Market representative: You're on it. That's the one.

Screenshot showing the whole of market


Go Compare hide cheapest gas deals, costing the consumer £18

  • On the 30th January 2015 in the Southern region, the caller spoke to GoCompare about switching his gas supply. The caller was advised that Scottish Power's Online Fixed Price Energy February 2016 tariff at £527 was the cheapest gas tariff available. In reality the cheapest tariff was £18 cheaper, Zog Energy's Mercury 12 at £509.
  • Scottish Power's Online Fixed Price Energy February 2016 is said to be the cheapest based on the information provided
  • The GoCompare representative failed to mention that there were two cheaper tariffs than the Scottish Power tariff.
  • Zog Energy do not pay GoCompare a commission.

Transcript

[The caller called Go Compare earlier and requested a call back for a price comparison]

Go Compare representative: So I believe you wanted to change your energy price today. Have you seen anything online yeah?

Caller: No I haven't actually.

Go Compare representative: Oh ok that's fine we'll quickly run through a comparison with you and well see which is the best available one on the market, which one will save you the most.

[At this point the caller provided post code details and other details requested by the representative]

Go Compare representative: Do you have an annual statement or know your usage in kWh?

Caller: I certainly do.

Go Compare representative: Lovely.

Caller: It's 14541

Go Compare representative: Lovely. Ok.

[At this point the caller confirm the rest of his details, including that he wished to pay by direct debit and to manage the account online if it's cheaper]

Go Compare representative: I'm now comparing your prices with a wide range of suppliers to see how much you can save.

Caller: Lovely.

Go Compare representative: So, your personal projection is coming out at £813 per year and your comparison is based on that figure, and there are no cancellation fees on your current tariff. Quickly ranking it in third, second and first place. Third place is Npower, second place is Green Star Energy and first place is Scottish Power.

Caller: Lovely

Go Compare representative: Quickly going back to second place with Green Star Energy, the tariff name Rate Saver 12 months fixed 1501 paperless, that's giving you an estimated annual saving of £257 which is a 32% saving, with an estimated annual spend of £555 and an estimated monthly direct debit of £46.27. In first place with Scottish Power, the tariff name Online Fixed Price Energy February 2016, that's giving you an estimated annual saving of £285 which is a 35% saving. With an estimated annual spend of £527 and an estimated monthly direct debit £43.96.

Caller: Lovely.

Go Compare representative: So did you want to go for the Scottish Power one?

Caller: Yeah that's the one I'm going to look at, so just to confirm that's the cheapest one is it at £527?

Go Compare representative: Definitely, yeah.

[The caller interrupts the call saying he's at work and needs to talk to a colleague, he organises a call back later]

Caller: Ok brillant, so Scottish Power is the cheapest one and that's at £527 a year. Fantastic.

Go Compare representative: That's the one.

Screenshot showing the whole of market


Confused hide two cheapest gas deals, costing the consumer £11

  • On the 28th January 2015 in the Seeboard (South East) region, the caller spoke to Confused about switching his gas supply. The caller was advised that Green Star Energy's Rate Saver 12 months fixed version 1501 paperless costing £538 was the cheapest gas tariff available. In reality the cheapest tariff was £11 cheaper, Zog Energy's Mercury 24 at £527.
  • Green Star Energy's Rate Saver 12 months fixed version 1501 paperless tariff is said to be the cheapest based on the information provided
  • The Confused representative failed to mention that there were two cheaper tariffs than the Green Star Energy tariff.
  • Zog Energy do not pay Confused a commission.

Transcript

Confused representative: Good afternoon you're through to XX at Confused. How can I help?

Caller: Hi there, yeah, I'm just looking to compare some prices just for my gas supply please.

[At this point the caller provided post code details and other details requested by the representative]

Confused representative: Do you know what your consumption of gas was over the last 12 months?

Caller: I do yeah, it was 14541.

[At this point the caller confirm the rest of his details, including that he wished to pay by direct debit and to manage the account online if it's cheaper]

Confused representative: I have got back 28 results and there is 28 that will save you money.

Caller: Ok.

Confused representative: I'll give you the top three that's going to save you the most. SO in third place we have Scottish Power, and this on a tariff that is fixed until the end of February 2016.

[At this point the Confused representative confirmed some more details about this plan]

Confused representative: Second place we've a company called Green Star Energy, again fixed for 12 months from the date the supply goes live and if you decided to leave the tariff In the first 12 months there is an early exit fee of £30. Saving £271.92.

Caller: Yep.

Confused representative: And in first place again it's Green Star Energy and again fixed for 12 months. The difference between the two is that one is a paper bills and one is a paperless version.

Caller: Oh I see ok.

Confused representative: So again if you decide to leave in the first 12 months there is an early exit fee of £30.

Caller: Ok I understand.

Confused representative: And your saving is £279.42

Caller: Ok, so you're saying that Green Star Energy is the cheapest one for me to go for then?

Confused representative: Yes, Green Star Energy, yes.

[Caller organises a call back once he's talked to his partner]

Caller: And just to clarify what you're saying to me XX. You're saying the cheapest one is Green Star Energy, managing my account online and getting the bills online as well for £537?

Confused representative: Yes. That's paying by monthly direct debit as well so it'll be £45 per month for you direct debit.

Caller: Wonderful and that's the cheapest one is it?

Confused representative: That is the cheapest one for you, yes.

Screenshot showing the whole of market

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