SSE and customer care: they don't...
I've just returned from holiday to be confronted by two reminders of who our electricity suppliers are: firstly, the flashing cooker clock and Sky box reset requirement - evidence of yet more (frustratingly regular) power cut(s?), and secondly yet another price increase notice. Thanks SSE...
Their missive indicates that my expected bill will rise by just over 8%, and if I didn't like it - tough.... (not their actual words, just my interpretation of their statement "You're already on our cheapest similar tariff").
But, they do recommend that we 'switch our tariff or supplier', which, taking on board their comment regarding our current tariff rather reinforces my understanding of what they are actually implying - "pay up or go away, we don't care about you as a customer and we aren't that concerned about your money".
OK, energy costs are starting to rise again but only after a sustained period of decrease across which time there was no softening of costs, just increases.
This isn't a local issue, other than electricity being our sole source of serviced energy as our village is located beyond the boundaries of Marlborough's gas network.
We will find an alternative supplier, but this attitude underlines what appears to be a lack of nous and commercial understanding within this industry. Or, is it that they just don't care?
We use logs and oil, and even though we are under no long contracts/agreements we tend to stick with those local suppliers with whom we have developed a relationship over the years. With logs it is the quality and availability (and price), whereas with oil it is about convenience of response and price, but in both cases the latter is less of an issue as suppliers do 'look after' regular customers. Which is how just about every long standing successful business has reached it's prominent position. Except the big organisations that is, like SSE.
If our local oil and logs suppliers adopted an attitude towards their customers consistent with that of SSE it's likely that they wouldn't last very long.
Businesses survive, thrive, and grow on the relationships they develop with their customers. Just about every successful business, in whatever field will have a core portfolio of regular clients with whom they enjoy a mutual relationship of trust and respect. Pragmatically, retaining customers is a great deal cheaper in the long (and medium, and short) term than continually shedding current and trawling for new.
That appears to be alien to SSE's business philosophy. Maybe that's symptomatic of their malaise, their inability (or unwillingness) to provide a service at a competitive price and a key factor behind their inflation-busting price increase?
A village near to Marlborough
(name and address supplied)