PREMIUM
2 August 2022

Power company satisfaction survey 2022

One power company gets a glowing report from its customers while a big player continues to disappoint.

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Gerard E.
15 Aug 2022
Power Company Nightmare!

This whole power companies retailing is a con. There is no real service or value added. Consumers are getting screwed.

Our power nightmare this week:
We are with Orcon for power & internet for past 3 years. Came home 11th August 2022 to our power having been disconnected by Contact (card placed in front door saying disconnected VACANT TERMINATION). We have never been Contact customer, but someone (not us) switched our power from Orcon to Contact on about 12 June (date we stopped being charged power) and our bill dropped to just internet charges.
Lost 4 hours of my life trying to get through to Contact & Orcon to find out what happened and get power switched back on. Customer service of both companies is non-existent. Still dealing with sorting this 4 days later as Orcon have rejected our application to have power re-instated!

Fair Go, here we come!

Sheridan
11 Aug 2022
Contact threatened my elderly mum

I switched my mother's account from Contact to Genesis a few years back as the prices she was paying were unbelievably high. This was before the 3hrs of power thing. Everything was done and the day before switch Contact called and the guy on the phone told my mother that it was likely she would be without power or gas for a period of time as the switch wouldn't happen straight away and the only way she could avoid this was by switching back to Contact straight away. Luckily I was at her house and took the phone and told him to bugger off. I will never, ever go back to Contact because of that. I'm with Electric Kiwi because I like the hour of free power and ability to see how you're going with moving your energy use around. Now that I know Contact is offering 3hrs of power though I'm feeling a bit annoyed - that "hour of free power" was the selling point for me choosing Electric Kiwi over Powershop. Might change!

P J S.
08 Aug 2022
Contact Energy

We phoned Contact Energy to enquire about their advert for 3 hours free power late at night (Good Nights Plan) and were told that, even though we had a newish Smart metre, the ones in Christchurch (where we live) aren't accurate enough for us to join up with this plan. Really??!! Where in NZ will it actually be accurate enough? We're not impressed.

Robert Stevens
07 Aug 2022
Moved from Top to Bottom

As far as I am concerned a no brainer. Powershop was the first Power company to raise the Low User daily rate and their best rates constantly have to be watched.
At the time they told me about price daily rate increase I noticed Contacts 3 hours of free power every day, plus $100 sign on. I am saving 30% average per month,I got to 40% 2 summer months, mostly because of ( 1 ) Hot Water (2) Clothes Dryer & Golf Cart Charger.
Find my wife will not co-operate with the clothes washer, no way is she going to put that on at night !!
Contact App hopeless when it comes down on reporting daily use up to 6 days late.
I had Electric Kiwi at one point they reported in 24/ 36 hours, their App excellent,
but their bills got too high.
Contact will give me another year of frozen (no increase) in Low User daily rate providing I sign up another contract.

Rufus T.
11 Aug 2022
Contact app

I agree with your comments about the Contact app as can take up to week for things to come through. Also used to be Electric Kiwi but bills went up. Generally better app. Disliked way ElectricKiwi notified us of unit price increases hiding it in the 4th or 5th paragraph of message and then complained that they were helpless and were victims. I thought it was very sneaky so switched to the 3 hours free electricity option of Contact in Christchurch

Joseph S.
06 Aug 2022
Joseph Slade

I changed power supplier from Globug to Nau mai ra I see you have not included this power supplier to the list, for my whanau it has been the best move we made please include them in your next survey

Peter W.
06 Aug 2022
Powershop

This article should have mentioned that some of the higher rating companies are actually subsidiaries of lower rated companies. Example, Powershop is a subsidiary of Meridian

Vere G.
06 Aug 2022
What should gas users do?

We have considered changing energy companies but it seems too hard! We (unfortunately) have gas heating for water and part of the house. The gas and electricity cost about the same. We joined Trustpower ten years ago because it was NZ-owned. I don’t know who owns Te Manawa. I would love to hear what Consumer and other people recommend.

Ray M.
06 Aug 2022
It's all the same power

We have moved a few times and to be honest can't really tell much difference between the companies. Am with Contact now solely due to the 3 free hours. We are able to use over 30% of our power then which makes it ridiculously cheap. Go donly knows how long Contact will be able to keep the plan running.
By the way checked my plan on PowerSwitch a few weeks back and the rates listed for low user on Contact's 3 hours free plan are a lot higher than what I am actually paying. PowerSwitch is very hard to rely on when you have to take into account getting free power. Had the same problem when we were with Electric Kiwi.

Owen W.
06 Aug 2022
Contact OK for some

Agree about PowerSwitch; I've got a load of stuff I do in the free power times so estimated bills much greater than real life. I've found support OK, especially over the internet connection.

Maurice V.
06 Aug 2022
Meridian difficult

Fixed term was due to expire. Sent an e-mail asking for a discount to continue my custom - about 8 years. Reply - 'we will see if we can match or better those rates'. The rates were those offered to me in a letter that I had received about 2 weeks earlier!

As at previous renewal, found the process annoying as responses were slow, didn't answer questions and lacking detail. Suspect that it is a deliberate ploy. The web-site is obstructive and having about 20 Low-User plans is ridiculous. Could not easily compare plans.

Went to another supplier.

John M.
06 Aug 2022
Ratings

Is it significant that in general terms the greater the market share the lower the ratings! Is this because with a greater market share they tend to treat their customers with contempt?
Do they end up with a greater market share because the bigger they are the more they can spend on advertising to hoodwink the public? One would think the bad ratings would tend to nullify that but maybe we are a nation of moaners but wont do anything about it!
And the number of players in the market is the opposite of what we are used to in NZ. It is obvious a very lucrative business to be in with so many clambering for a slice of the pie. Are there too many players which prevents the normal effects of economy of scale coming into play? is the NZ public paying far too many CEO's salaries here?

Tadeusz D.
12 Aug 2022
Survey statistics

Could not agree more .... its the same as with telecom/internet providers ... every additional "provider" adds to an overhead

Not sure how a survey of less than 0.001 % of residential power users can be representative and of much value....