We've been inundated with questions about switching to fixed tariffs since the price hikes started. Here, MSE Archna, who runs our Cheap Energy Club, answers the most common queries.
Q. I fixed a few days ago and now that tariff is not available. Will I still get it?
A. If you signed up for the tariff, you should get it. Around 10% of people are rejected, either due to credit issues or if you entered incorrect info by mistake. If it was due to incorrect info, some suppliers will ring you and sort the issue out – other suppliers aren't so good at this. If you're rejected, you'll have to switch again and if that fixed deal has gone, you'll have to get the new best.
Q. When will I know that my application for the fix has been accepted?
A. It will be a couple of weeks before you hear from your new supplier, maybe longer in some cases. Usually suppliers are quicker than this, but due to the high volumes of switches they're receiving it's taking longer than it should. Users are telling us Npower and M&S Energy are being particularly slow.
Q. Can anything go wrong?
A. As mentioned above, around 10% of people are rejected due to credit issues or problems with the application info. From time to time, comparison sites have issues sending your switching information to suppliers. This is rare, but can happen. If this happens, you'll usually have to switch again and if fixes have been pulled in the meantime, you'll have missed out on them.
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Q. When will I start paying the new fixed prices?
A. It takes about six to eight weeks for your supply to go live, it can be longer in some cases. This is one reason why you should look at getting a fixed tariff urgently.
Q. I've not heard from my provider, is something wrong?
It may take a couple of weeks to get your welcome pack from the provider. This is taking even longer than usual at the moment due to the high volume of switches.
To make matters even worse, you've been telling us that when you ring the new supplier, it's telling you it knows nothing about the switch. This is totally incorrect and either a tactic to get you to switch directly (which means no cashback for you and is cheaper for the energy supplier) or the customer service team hasn't been told what's going on. Give it a few weeks then get in touch with the supplier you've switched to.
Q. When will I get my cashback?
If you went through a comparison or provider which promises cashback when you switch – including our Cheap Energy Club – it usually takes between three and five months to hit your bank account, depending on how quick the supplier is at processing your application.