More chance of pigs flying than saving money with Oink Energy
Oink Energy is the latest new entrant to the UK energy market but is likely to fall short of extracting squeals of excitement from potential customers.
Oink says it is "sniffing out customers who want an energy company more in tune with them and who understand what people want".
But it seems the company has failed in its mission before it's even properly got started. The average household switching to the company "will pay no more than £1,198 per year on Oink's single dual-fuel tariff".
The problem is that its price is 20% more expensive than the cheapest deal on the market, which is the Fresh Fixed Price Oct 2015 v1 tariff from fellow small provider Extraenergy at £991. And it's more costly than dual-fuel deals from four of the Big Six. EDF, E.ON, SSE and British Gas have tariffs costing £1,164, £1,170, £1,186 and £1,193 respectively, according to data from EnergyHelpline.
While an Oink spokesperson reiterated to Moneywise that £1,198 was the maximum customers would pay, rather than what it expects most customers will be charged, it believes its customer service is what will set it apart from the crowd.
Its contracts come with no tie-ins, hidden penalties or exit fees and Oink has pledged that customers will speak to a named customer service representative within 30 seconds of calling and receive email replies to queries sent on the same working day.
Mark Todd, managing director of energy price comparison site EnergyHelpline, told Moneywise: "Oink's price doesn't say 'sign up' to me. If it's expecting lots of monthly direct debit customers to get on board, there's more chance of pigs flying. Our research shows that more than 90% of customers switch provider based on price, not customer service."
He added that anyone looking for a combination of competitive price and good customer service could consider Ovo's Better Energy Fixed (Online) tariff that costs £1,011 a year on average. The supplier emerged top in the website's most recent customer satisfaction survey.