To ask your opinion of Utilities Warehouse?

(19 Posts)
dulcefarniente Thu 07-Apr-16 23:27:41

A friend has started working for UW and is obviously very enthusiastic about them. On the surface the structure sounds just like that god awful Forever Living company. If you avoid getting recruited are there savings to be made and what is the customer service like?

Ragusa Thu 07-Apr-16 23:31:49

I think you're right - multi-level marketing but at least one that actually sells something you need. I don't think UW rate very hightly for value....

littleshirleybeans Thu 07-Apr-16 23:33:09

What is utility warehouse? Can I ask.

dulcefarniente Thu 07-Apr-16 23:36:46

Basically you can arrange for them to supply you with phone/broadband/tv/gas/electric so that you just pay one bill and only have to deal with one company. They also do a moneyback card thingy

frick Thu 07-Apr-16 23:38:34

We switched to them about 1.5 years ago and are happy. Think we saved a medium-ish amount each month by switching.

dulcefarniente Thu 07-Apr-16 23:42:45

frick not having to deal with BT ever again would be a big plus point for me. How have you found their customer service? Have you taken on a sales role?

catsrus Thu 07-Apr-16 23:54:42

I've been with them for years, gas, electric, phone, broadband. I wouldn't switch, even if it saved me money in the short term. Their customer service is fantastic. Here's a link to a Which report about them. www.which.co.uk/energy/saving-money/guides/small-energy-companies/utility-warehouse/

We got signed up because someone in our street was one of their reps, honestly the difference in dealing with them to previous utility companies is huge. There was a broadband problem - turned out to be a problem at a junction, not local to me - and I was treated like an intelligent human being capable of holding a conversation about technology. I was rung back by them once they'd tracked down the possible source of the issue and kept in the loop as they negotiated with Openreach. Everyone I've ever dealt with is helpful and friendly and efficient.

TravellingLoon Fri 08-Apr-16 00:06:50

Hmm, I had a friend who became one of their reps and so she encouraged us to sign up. On the face of it, it seems like you get money taken off your utilities bill for shopping in certain places, but for us (tight arses who shopped at Aldi and Tesco!) it didn't save us anything because the shops which were affiliated were things like Sainsbury's and Boots where we didn't shop anyway.

While we were with them it was fine, the problem came when we tried to leave - I phoned up and asked to cancel our account, which they did, but it apparently didn't occur to them we wanted to therefore also cancel the cashback card (why would we keep that if we didn't have our utilities with them?!) so they charged us for that for the next month. We phoned, cancelled the stupid card and paid the 2 pounds or whatever it was, then got ANOTHER bill for some other thing (which as far as I was concerned we didn't owe as we had already had our final bill from them (stated on the invoice) - this extra was about 10 pounds). This went on for ages, they wouldn't back down, neither would we, they sent us more bills charging us interest on the amount they said we owed, then another bill for some other 'remembered charges'. After a LOT of phone calls , they finally gave up.

Incidentally, my 'friend' when I asked for her help in resolving this wasn't interested. Probably because we were leaving and she's only really interested in signing people up. Her FB is always full of 'it's so nice to know that when I shop I'm saving money on my bills'. Ugh.

So my experience was mixed. Customer service for us certainly wasn't great.

budgiegirl Fri 08-Apr-16 02:52:30

We got all our utilities from them for about 3 years, but changed when we got a better deal elsewhere. Never had any problems, their customer service was fine

dulcefarniente Fri 08-Apr-16 07:39:04

Cats thanks for the link.
Travelling I wonder about the card too as my lifestyle (bit grand, more like my limited funds) mean that I shop at Aldi too and the restaurant discount is irrelevant as I'm doing well if I manage 4 meals out in a year!

ProcrastinatorGeneral Fri 08-Apr-16 08:45:46

I'd not use them, purely because of the actions of one of their drones a few years ago.

dulcefarniente Fri 08-Apr-16 18:38:56

Sorry Procrastinator you've lost me - drones? Can you explain who they are and what they did?

RandomMess Fri 08-Apr-16 18:49:21

I've been with them for about 3 years and have been very happy indeed - we have moved house twice in that time and it all went well both times!

My UW rep is great, always helped resolve stuff (I have several friends who signed up and absolutely not hard sell) and her FB is not full UW stuff at all. Her attitude is very much she'll go through the maths and show you whether you will save or not. She has been a rep for a long time - possibly 6 years at least and it's not her main income - she could go for it 100% but has chosen not to.

It's like all other providers you have to review it every year or so and check it's the cheapest for you.

No longer have to pay for cash back card just a small fee to load up your card. Again worth having if you would use the suppliers but not if you don't.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Fri 08-Apr-16 22:47:51

dulce one of their reps tried to take advantage of a bunch of vulnerable women, it was a parenting support group. We all had young babies and we're dealing with various issues. Whenever we met she would bring her bag full of advertising crap and try to recruit. It wasn't the time or the place but she had a hide so thick it was unreal. A lot of people were uncomfortable, especially as a quick google proved that at that point a few of the claims she was making were utter bullshit.

The group sort of closed ranks against the sales pitches. We'd refuse to talk about it, it wasn't the reason we met and nobody was interested, and she got the huff and flounced.

dulcefarniente Fri 08-Apr-16 23:40:55

What a pain Procrastinator. My friend isn't like that and has only once tried to get me to become an agent and backed off when I said I wasn't interested. It was quite amusing to be pitched at on the basis of being a LP and therefore needing to save every penny, but a lot revolved around discounts for all sorts of shops/dining out/theme parks none of which I could afford even with a hefty discount.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Fri 08-Apr-16 23:47:51

We've been with them for over 10 years and have been happy. DH does his research every year to check prices and they're still v competitive. Customer service is ok too.

I have the cash back card but often forget to use it! I get a fair bit back when I remember as I shop at Sainsbury's and M&S a lot.

EssentialHummus Fri 08-Apr-16 23:52:33

Watching with interest. I signed up with them recently. Rep was fine, switching utilities was fine, and they are due to visit to replace meters soon (the wait for this was quite short). Polite (and UK-based!) call centre staff.

Not sure about the cashback card. You have to top it up, which is a faff, each top up costs 35p. In theory I can do one of my shops a month at Sainsbury's, spend over £50 and then get cashback on any fuel I buy at Sainsbury's in the following 2 weeks, but it requires more coordination than I usually apply to groceries and petrol.

MonstrousPippin Sat 09-Apr-16 00:07:40

I was with them for about a year and a half. They messed up my cash card statement once with missing transactions and were rubbish on the phone when I was trying to sort it out. Their calculation of my direct debit was always woefully wrong and I eventually swapped when they put their prices up. Same as pp, I had to pay for the cash card for 2 months because they didn't cancel it.

The main reason I left though was MLM makes me very uncomfortable. The reps who signed me up are a couple who are close friends and they've turned into complete robots. I've had to unfollow them on Facebook because I can't help but challenge the idiot claims like the "turnover of my home business is £50k" when that was just everyone's bills added together. It goes straight to the head office bank account. Utter bullshit that just boils down to lying.

The only reason we avoid the MLM pitch whenever we get together is that they don't seem to realise we have switched provider. I know because of comments about all their friends being customers when our group of friends get together. I just keep quiet!

catsrus Sat 09-Apr-16 07:37:12

I've never had one of the cash back cards - didn't sign up for it as I'd never use it. Some people might find those things useful - I'd rather not bother. The whole "spend money to save it" thing is such a con really.....

We have one local rep who always has a stall at local events. And I happily say I'm already a customer and tell whoever he's talking to that I'm really happy with them as a company. Never seen any hard sell, I'd always seen it as the opposite, they don't employ hard sell salesmen , they have no shops and don't advertise, they entirely rely on word of mouth . They consistently score well on both cost and customer service - never top but always up there. It's that consistency I like - and having all the bills together. I don't have the faff of constant switching but I know I'm not being ripped off.

For a while I was a gold customer (4 services) and so had free phone calls and some free overseas ones - including to Australia - that was really useful. They changed the rules around that though and I lost that, am thinking of taking out a mobile contract for one of my dds to get it back. Otoh it was most useful when my exH was here as he rang family in Aus a lot.

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