Monthly Archives: March 2014

Energy ~ Third Party Intermediaries!

This is an often asked question by many business owners, usually followed, by ‘oh but they charge a lot of money’. First of all, lets explain what a TPI ( Third Party Intermediary) is. He/she or indeed it may be a company act as a go between, between you and the energy company.

They are specialists in their roles and know the energy market really well, plus more importantly have excellent relationships with either a select few, the big 6, or in a tiny handful of cases, the entire energy market place, it is that relationship which works for and on your behalf to secure you the best deal possible, thanks to their specialist knowledge and relationship with the chosen supplier.

TPIs, will rarely charge any fees for their work, unless of course it is a unique case, instead they receive a commission from the energy company, who they place your business with. This commission is usually ongoing for the life of your energy contract.

How do you know who is a good TPI? ~ Well, as with all cases, there are the good, the bad and the downright ugly out there, but as a general rule of thumb, you should choose one, that is approved by the Utilities Intermediary Association ( UIA).

By doing this, you can gain confidence from the fact that you have cover, should anything go wrong for you during the energy process or your relationship breaks down with them.The UIA has a strict code of practice and Ethics, when it comes to energy processes, that each member has to abide by, or they are not accepted.

Using TPIs with access to the entire energy market place and knowledge of how it works, will save your business a considerable some of money, both now and moving forward.

Ofgem~ Retail Market Review

From April 2014, new rules to improve supplier communications, such as bills and annual summaries, will also come into effect to ensure consumers have the information they need to make informed and accurate comparisons.

In addition, at the end of March 2014 we will jointly complete an assessment of competition in the energy market with the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition and Markets Authority. We will report on the findings shortly after.

The Aims will be quite clear, to make energy tariffs

*Simpler

*Clearer

* Fairer

From April 2014…

We know that you can get a lot of information from suppliers about your gas and electricity, and that sometimes this can be baffling and unhelpful. We are introducing changes so that from April 2014:

You will be told regularly in writing which tariff is cheapest for you with your current supplier. These personalised savings messages will be included on your bill, Annual Statement and other communications.

You will receive more informative bills. They will contain key information about your tariff and how much energy you use. Having all this to hand will help you compare your own tariff with other options available.

Your Annual Statement will contain a range of useful information, in an easy to understand form. They will include key facts about your tariff, including discounts, your tariff end date, and whether any termination fees apply. They will also include useful information on how to switch suppliers if that’s what you want to do.

When suppliers notify you of price increases, they will have to spell out what that means in pounds and pence. This will make it easier to understand the impact the change will have on you.

You will also receive a number of new tools to help you compare tariffs which will be included on bills, Annual Statements, and other communications:

The Tariff Comparison Rate (TCR) will allow you to quickly and approximately compare tariffs across the market – like the annual percentage rate (APR) for credit cards, for instance.

Personal Projections will give you an accurate picture of your costs for the next 12 months, which will help you to make accurate, personalised comparisons.

In addition, suppliers will have to produce a Tariff Information Label for each of their tariffs. The label will contain a number of key facts about the tariff, including payment method, discounts, termination fees, and an estimate of the annual cost of the tariff for a typical consumer.

The information will be provided in a straightforward and standardised way. You will be able to access the labels online, and suppliers will also be required to provide them to you on request, free of charge.

To find out how you can now choose suppliers, simply watch the video below

Business Social Media

Business Social Media, wow, what a topic area and yet, its even more of an important way to help promote your business than ever before.

More and more business owners, are still finding it a ‘minefield’ in terms of how to use, and we are finding that we are being asked more and more to advise and set up, social media accounts for businesses, while they focus on whats important to them~ face to face relationships.

Equally, people are finding that, no sooner have they mastered one area of social media, then another area becomes just as ‘must have’ to conquer. So you will be pleased to know that currently in development, is our social media 3.0 version, which will explain how to make your social media interaction even more important and far more simpler.

So keep your eyes peeled for our highly sought after course, but in the meantime, should your require, experienced & competitively priced outsourcing for your social media management, we have been around this arena since 2003.

Smart Meters ~ Residential

What are Smart Meters? ~ Its a device which will be provided by your energy supplier that will sit in your house (the short name is IHD) and act as a two way communicatior of your energy consumption, by feeding information to your supplier.

Why do you need one?

Its is part of the governments promise to make residential energy bills lower and perhaps more importantly, to help cut down or cut out the issues of ‘Estimated‘ bills, which lead to excessive high bills.

How much do they cost

Nothing to you as a residential user, they are part of the Governments role out of these devices to be completed by 2019

NB: Smart meters are stand along devices, which cost nothing for you to install, however some utility providers are encouraging their customers to get a ‘free’ meter, by switching to their cheapest tariff~ Don’t be fooled by this, when there are over 40 different residential tariffs to choose from. you need the one that will benefit you most

How much will you save?

This will of course all depend on consumption, but you should definately see an improvement in your current bill

How do you get one

Your current supplier, will write to you and advise you how to obtain one and will explain how to fit it.

Mobile Credit Refunds!

If in the last 6 years, you have switched, TV, Mobile, Broadband or Mobile phone providers, there is a good chance, your owed cash!.

Many providers, among them talk talk, primus, & 3 mobile don’t automatically refund left over credit, which means millions of pounds of unclaimed cash is available.

So, What is a telecoms credit refund?…

A few providers such as BT and orange, automtically refund left over credit when you leave, however, equally there are many providers, including talk talk, primus and others who operate a

“Unless you ask, you don’t get” policy

According to ofcom, it is estimated that miliions in bill credit is unclaimed and has urged consumers to check if they are owed a refund

NBThis does not apply to P.A.Y.G credit

How could you be owed cash? ~ Well, you can very easily earn credit, without knowing it via promo deals or by paying in advance

EG: You sign up for a 12 months for the price of 9 offer. You would still have to pay for 12 months, then get a rebate after 12 months

Most people asssume the rebates are automatic, however it is not always the case

Case Studies

“Made a claim with Talk Talk & received a £144 refund~ amazing!” NE

“Put two claims in with vodaphone & orange receiving £96 in total, plus from Virgin, I have over £400 in charges, wrongly applied” DB

“From a dormant phone contract with o2 over two years ago, just received a £19 refund

How do you reclaim?
One simple phone call to your provider asking
“Do I have any leftover credit on my account” will find out if you have or not.

Or alternatively, you can enter your details via the newsletter section, and find out how we can help you do this.

There are time limits involved for this.In England and wales its 6 years

In Scotland its 5 years

NB:Suppliers should hold the data for 6 years.

Credit Card Ruling~ Are you affected?

CREDIT CARD users could be sitting on unclaimed millions of pounds following a County Court decision today that means consumers have more time to make a claim against their credit card company when a purchase has gone wrong.

QualitySolicitors Howlett Clarke, based in Brighton, have won a case for their client which means for consumers who used their credit card to pay for an item or service which later turned out to be misrepresented, for example, fraudulent ~ may have up to 6 years from when they notice the error inform their credit card company.

Until today’s decision, consumers only had 6 years from the purchase of the item or product to claim their money back from the credit card company. QualitySolicitors Howlett Clarke also secured interest for their client over the time lapsed.

Paul Tilley, the QualitySolicitors Howlett Clarke lawyer involved in the case, said: “This decision means that there could be thousands of people out there who have purchased something on their credit card that was a misrepresented purchase – in our client’s case it was an investment that was fraudulent – but they are unaware that they can bring a claim against their credit card provider to recoup the money. The decision means that the 6 year clock to make their claim starts ticking from the point they notice the misrepresentation, not from the date they made the purchase.

“So someone who made a purchase more than 6 years ago, but today notices it was a misrepresented purchase may be able to make a claim against their credit card company as long as they inform the company of it. This applies equally where consumers have, for example, paid a deposit for an item using a credit card and paid the balance in cash or by cheque, such as transactions where a vehicle was purchased. While only the deposit is funded by the credit card, the full transaction price could potentially be recovered from the creditor.

“Few people realised before this case that credit card companies are liable for such purchases. It is a protection that debit cards do not offer. Credit cards just became even better with this case. People may have more time to check their credit card statements to see if there are any purchases that turned out badly. They could be able to get that money back with interest. With the spectre of Christmas debt preying on people’s minds there might be some respite from a purchase gone wrong hidden in a credit card statement somewhere.

Energy ~ Overbilling refund success!

Have you ever had an energy statement come through your letter box and thought, that doesn’t look ‘quite right’? ~ Have you ever queried it?

In light of the recent statement, published by Ofgem, we thought it would be useful to highlight, some recent successes we have had on behalf of clients of ours, simply where we have asked questions, they were thinking about and… as a result have had successes in reclaiming money on their behalf, that their energy company’s had kept quiet about. They are highlighted below

*Littlehampton ~ Pub, over £450 from Eon

*Littlehampton ~ Pub, over £1800 from Haven

*Littlehampton ~ Pub, over £8,000 from British Gas, as a result of Billing errors

*Arundel~ Restaurant. Refund of over £950 from Eon

*Bognor~ Butchers, 3 seperate refunds, from different suppliers, amounting to over £230 from Scottish Power and Eon

*Bognor ~ Gift Shop, Refund of over £240 for billing for a non existent gas meter

These are just some of our success, obtained by ‘taking a look’ at the business concerned accounts. Our free service is on a no win, no fee basis and obtained by asking the ‘right’ questions, in the ‘right’ way.

Why not, have a free account validation report and let us see what we can find for you.