Monday, 5 May 2014

Scottish liars

A couple of months ago we left Scottish Power and moved to Ovo Energy.  I believe I mentioned it here.

Well this week Scottish Power were on the phone again.

When I was a customer they had promised to tell me about any deals they had that could save me money.  While I was a customer they didn't phone me once to tell me I could save money.

Well now I'm not their customer they think it's still OK to phone me (it's not!)

The phoned to tell me their prices had come down and they believed they could save me money over the tariff I have with my new supplier.

They asked why I'd switched.  I explained initially cost, then environmental considerations, and thirdly customer service.  I ran through the litany of customer service faux pas I'd experienced from Scottish Power.

They were sorry but they still wanted to tell me about their new prices.

I stayed quiet.


"I'm still here…, go on."

"We've got your annual usage as xxxxx for gas and yyyyyy for electricity, is this correct?"

I had no idea but said "Yes."

"And which tariff are you on with Ovo?"

I couldn't remember exactly.  It's not as though I received the call just as I was reviewing my power supply paperwork.

"I think it's their 100% Green Fixed Price Tariff"

"Is that fixed for a year?"


"Well if you switched to Scottish Power we could save you £136 a year."

"Really?  On a 100% renewables tariff?"

"I'm not sure it's guaranteed 100% renewable energy but Scottish Power are leaders in renewable energy.  Let me check."

While she was checking, I did some of my own checking.

I plugged the usage numbers into the uSwitch site and then checked on the percentage of Scottish Power's energy that's renewable, and checked to see if they offered a free tariff.

Their level of green energy is just under 13%.  This is higher than the industry average (just) but lower than the Ovo Energy standard tariff at 15% and much lower than my tariff of 100%.  

When my caller returned she advised that she didn't currently have access to the system that could tell her the percentage of renewable energy in the Scottish Power supply.

I told her that was strange, because I'd found it (here).  I also explained that comparing their 12.9% renewable tariff with my 100% renewable tariff was not a fair comparison and that she needed to compare apples with apples, or 100% renewable with 100% renewable.

She told me that she was just trying to see if she could save me money.

I explained that if I wanted to save money I could switch to Ovo Energy's standard tariff which has 15% renewables and is still cheaper than the Scottish Power 12.9% renewable tariff.

Most call centre operatives would have given up, realising they were beaten fairly and squarely but this one didn't.  It was a reasonable argument and a reasonable person would have moved on.

I suggested that consumer organisations might  be interested to hear that Scottish Power are trying to persuade people they are saving money by comparing completely different products and that whilst she had phoned me and  could find the information whilst she was talking to me, not everybody else would be able to do this and the tactics seemed very underhand.  I thought about throwing in the fact that they had broken the data protection act because they didn't have permission to contact me as i was no longer a customer, but I thought I'd save that for next time.

This was the first day for about a fortnight that they had successfully called me.  They had been calling once or twice daily.  Unacceptable behaviour from a loathsome company with appalling customer service.

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