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NS&I which is backed by the government has reduced the amount customers can put into their fixed savings account from £1 million to £10,000 Customers can now only invest £10,000 into each of the 1 and 3 year Guaranteed Income Bonds and Guaranteed Growth Bonds, meaning a max saving of £40,000. The interest on the savings have remained the same and given many people choose to save with the firm was due to the guaranteed savings rate on a notional of £1 million, this move will be widely unwelcomed. What has changed exactly? NS&I’s Guaranteed Income Bonds continue to provide a 1.46% and 1.92% return on their one and three year contracts. They also continue to offer 1.5% return on the one year and 1.95% on the three year for their Guaranteed Growth Bonds. Overall the only difference is the huge reduction on the amount customers can invest safely into […]

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Around 5.9 million card details and 1.2 million personal customer details have been accessed by hackers. Dixons Carphone Warehouse who is the owner of both companies confirmed that the hackers did not gain access to PIN number or any other data which will allow them to use the information. However, around 105,000 non- EU cards, which don’t have the chip and pin functionality, were also taken to which Dixons Carphone Warehouse have contacted the card firms and their respective customers. This news is adding further damage to the company, especially since Carphone Warehouse was fined £400,000 in Jan 2018 for data leakage on three millions customer’s details. I’m worried – what should I do next? Dixons Carphone Warehouse has confirmed there is no evidence of fraud as a result of the hack however customers who are concerned can regularly check their banks accounts and credit card statements change their passwords […]

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Iresa, the small energy supplier was issued with a provisional ban stopping it from signing on more customers until they meet the customer service targets laid out by Ofgem. The ban came into effect in March and was expected to last 3 months, but with two weeks to go, Ofgem has now pushed for the ban to be extended as Iresa has failed to react adequately. Iresa have until 21st June 2018 to respond or contest the decisions from Ofgem, else they could be left with an indefinite ban until they are able to fully hit all customer service targets. Also working against them, is another separate investigation, which is looking if Iresa broker rules which relate to customer conduct and service. What did Ofgem want Iresa to do? Ofgem has significant amount of information which suggested that Iresa could cause harm to customers due to its customer handling process. […]

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Following in the footsteps other small suppliers, namely Bulb and Ovo, Utility Warehouse has increased the prices on its standard variable tariff by 4.4%. The company has around 53% of its near 500,000 customer base on the standard tariff, which will all see their prices increase by around £50 this year. What is the price change on the Utility Warehouse tariffs? ‘Value’ standard tariff – This is essentially Utility Warehouse’s Standard Variable Tariff (SVT), which is set to go up by approximately £50 ‘Gold’ standard tariff – This is for customers who have energy, home phone and broadband with Utility Warehouse and are not on a fixed deal. The annual bill will rise by approximately £50. ‘Double Gold’ standard tariff – This is for customers who have energy, home phone, mobile phone and broadband with Utility Warehouse and are not on a fixed deal. The annual bill will rise by […]

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Future energy stopped trading in January and its customers have been moved to Green Star energy. Future energy had around 10,000 customers mainly from the North East and Yorkshire. As per the safety net provided by Ofgem all credit balances were protected and there was no disruption to service. Green Star Energy Green Star Energy is a well established small energy supplier which has been in the market for 5 years. The company is owned by Canadian giant Just Energy, which has over 2 million customers in the US and Canada. Comments from Ofgem Neil Barnes, Associate partner at Ofgem, said “We are very pleased to have been able to secure a deal with Green Star Energy, where Future Energy customers will continue paying the same price for their energy as they were before. And their credit balances will be honoured.” FreePriceCompare is a hassle free, independent and impartial comparison […]

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Bulb, the green energy, supplier has only one tariff and that tariff is set to increase by 5.1% affecting all its customers. The Vari-Fair tariff will increase in price from August affecting 450,000 existing customers which includes those in the process of switching to bulb too. The price rise comes on the back of energy increases from the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers as well as Ovo energy which increased prices last week. What is the actual change to Bulb customers? For all variable tariffs, suppliers need to give their customers 30 days of notice, in this instance Bulb has given a 60 day notice giving customers enough time to switch suppliers should they wish too. There are no exit fees with Bulb and their one tariff. Effective from 12 August 2018, customers will see a price rise of 5.1% which will take dual fuel bills for a typical household up […]

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Citing financial instability and poor customer service as the main reason, Ofgem is about to make it harder for new energy suppliers to enter the market. Ofgem has outlined the scope for a review on the conditions it sets for new suppliers to operate. The conditions include the level of service customers get from the new energy entrants and it reviews the financial stability of the new company. Over a recent period we have seen the collapse of a few energy suppliers, which is probably one of the bases behind the possible review. As it currently stands, earlier this month, Ofgem extended the ban on energy supplier Iresa from taking on more customers. Also at the start of the year, energy supplier Future Energy collapsed in January. Comments from FreePriceCompare Commenting on the news, Shailesh Ramani, Founder of FreePriceCompare said, “It easy to see why some critics will see this […]

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