MSE News

Outfox the Market hits customers with FOURTH price hike in six months

Small energy supplier Outfox the Market has announced it is to raise prices yet again – the second time it's announced a hike this month, and the fourth since June. 

The latest increase, which has been announced before its most recent price rise has even come into effect, will see average household bills for those on its variable tariff rise by a massive 14% on 1 January.

The supplier has also announced it's ditching its monthly membership fee – a set fee each month based on your annual estimated electricity usage, paid instead of a standing charge – and replacing it with what is for most much higher daily standing charges. 

Outfox the Market customers, who are also reeling from the company's recent decision to hike direct debits in winter months by up to 40%, have responded furiously to the latest news.

The firm's variable tariff (it was originally known as 'Zapp' or 'Wham', then rebranded in November as 'Pow' and from now on will be known as 'Blast') was the cheapest on the market for a typical user back in June, with an average cost to a dual fuel household of just £807/year. From January, the same tariff is set to cost an average £1,129/year.

The good news is, if you're on Outfox the Market's variable tariff, you can switch without paying any exit fees. Use our free Cheap Energy Club to see how much you can save by switching.

'I'm outta here' – how customers have responded

MoneySavers have taken to email and social media to vent their anger at the latest announcement.

Caroline tweeted at the firm saying: "As per your email this morning you've hiked my energy bill by 48% within a month of joining you. Even after the direct debit shambles. I'm outta here..."

Here are a few more of the tweets we've seen:

How Outfox the Market has hiked prices this year

Here's a quick recap of the successive price increases customers have faced this year. Deep breath...

  • 21 June – 6.4% price hike announced. Outfox the Market warns it's raising the cost of its variable tariff from a typical £807/year to £859/year.
  • 2 August – 6.4% hike hits. The price hike announced in June comes in.
  • 21 September – new 7.4% price hike announced. Outfox the Market announces it's increasing the cost of its variable tariff again to a typical £923/yr.
  • 1 November – 7.4% hike hits. The price hike announced in September comes in.
  • 5 November – new 7% hike announced. Outfox the Market announces it's raising the cost of its variable tariff AGAIN, to a typical £987/yr.
  • 16 November – direct debits hiked by up to 40%. Outfox the Market announced it's changing its direct debit policy, meaning customers will pay 70% of their annual cost between October and March, and 30% between April and September, starting from December.
  • 29 November – new 14.4% hike announced. Outfox the Market announces it's raising the cost of its variable tariff yet again, to a typical £1,129/year.
  • 13 December – 7% hike to hit. The price hike announced in early November will come in.
  • 1 January – 14.4% hike to hit. The price announced just today will come in.

How are bills changing in January?

Most Outfox the Market customers are on its variable tariff. On 1 January, the average bill for a typical user on that tariff will jump by £142/year – and that's on top of the hike at the beginning of December.

While the supplier is upping its rates for both gas and electricity in January, the real change is that it's ditching its monthly membership fee.

Unusually for an energy firm, it charged this fee instead of a daily standing charge – a fixed cost, unlike usage, which covers the cost of being connected to the grid.

From January, this membership fee – £9.66/month for a typical user – will replaced by a 26.7p daily standing charge for electricity AND a further 26.7p for gas. That works out at £195 per year, compared to the £116 per year paid by the typical user under the monthly membership scheme.

However, the monthly membership fee varies based on usage, so it's possible that very high users could find paying a daily standing charge actually works out cheaper than a membership fee.

If you're unhappy with these changes, use our free Cheap Energy Club to see how much you could save by switching.

What if I'm on a fix?

A small number of Outfox the Market customers are on a fixed rather than variable tariff. Outfox the Market originally told us that while the rates wouldn't change, it would still switch customers onto a daily standing charge, rather than the monthly membership fee.

However, it has since reversed this decision – it has now told us they'll be NO changes if you're on a fixed tariff.