London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — May 21, 2007 – Despite having the lowest service ratings on energyhelpline.com, a switch and save web site, because of having the highest volume of upheld complaints to energywatch, British Gas has won back nearly a million customers this year. According to energyhelpline.com, British Gas’s success is due to three factors:
Complacency from the other suppliers: Despite massive drops in wholesale gas costs, some of the major suppliers have been complacent about dropping their prices, and have lost huge numbers of customers as a result. British Gas in contrast has dropped their prices twice.
Being a trusted brand: Even though it always suffers in the opinion polls, and has the most complaints made against it, British Gas is still considered by many a trustworthy brand. It’s the grandfather of energy brands and with this comes familiarity and reassurance.
Innovative products: British Gas has taken the lead in introducing new products, last year Price Protection was very popular and this year Click Energy 2 is one of the cheapest tariffs around. It’s able to offer some of the lowest prices online, and even though their low-cost tariff comes with a high-cost premium call line, customers haven’t been put off.
British Gas has also scored well with customers by offering a refund to those who have more than £80 ($160) credit on their accounts, although customers are also complaining that the utility has introduced a billing system that overestimates costs. There is growing awareness of the fact that as many as ten million customers who have a credit balance on their accounts are having difficulty in getting their money back.
The credits have arisen because utilities only review direct debits every few months, while energy prices are falling. Energyhelpline.com spokesman Mark Todd said: "Utility companies could be sitting on a cash mountain of up to £1billion by the end of the year. This is outrageous. This is money that is rightfully owed to customers."