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Irish consumer inertia – it’s why we’re ripped off so much

80,000 switch from ESB to Bord Gáis
I’ve written here a few times recently about the advent of a sort of competition in the electricity market recently with the entry of Airtricty and Bord Gais Energy to the residential home electricity market to compete with the ESB.

Switching to either of these competitors will get you discounts of 10-14% on your current ESB bills.

So, have you switched? Why not?

According to this article from RTE News in the last few days, while 80,000 people have made The Big Switch from the ESB to Bord Gais Energy, the ESB still has 95% of the electricity supply market.

If you can be guaranteed, as Bord Gais Energy have, to get electricity from 5-10% cheaper for the next 3 years, why would you not change your electricity?

Is it because of one of the biggest problems with Irish consumers that allows us be consistently ripped off over the past 4 or 5 years?

Consumer Inertia is not the friend of the Irish consumer, but is best buddies with the many non-competitive and high price charging Irish based businesses.

This is a great example of consumer inertia that this country suffers from in all areas of consumer behaviour.

All it takes to change electricity supplier is to make a single phone call, yet so relatively few ESB customers are doing so. If you don’t want to change to Bord Gais Energy, then you could always change to Airtricity instead – either way, we’re getting what we’ve been calling for for ages – an alternative to the ESB.

So why not change? Get up off your behind and make the call now! What do you owe the ESB by staying as one of their customers?

4 comments On Irish consumer inertia – it’s why we’re ripped off so much

  • You have the same behaviour with Private Health Care for example where people don’t leave VHI despite Hibernian and Bupa being way cheaper.

    But in respect of switching electricity, it took them 5 weeks to switch me, which is a long time.

  • I’d agree with Odin, it took quite a long time to switch over to the Bord Gais Electricity, but I’m there now, and it’s great.

    The electricity is a bit bluer in colour or something, I love it!!

    Do you know what’s the best thing about this, though? Now we can all be like Fr. Austin Purcell “The most boring priest in Ireland” from Fr Ted, who commented to Fr Jack while locked in a cupboard (or was it Dougal? I can’t remember) that “we ran the electricity off the gas, and the gas off the electricity”.

    Hilarious.

  • Even if it takes a few weeks to switch, it’s not like we are being left in the lurch while waiting for it to happens (as often happens with phone and broadband).

    Also, you don’t even have to pick up the phone. The whole think can be done online, at least with Bord Gais, anyway.

  • Not being one to “sit on my behind”, I tried a number of weeks ago to switch to airtricity but the only payment options are Cheque (which they want another €200 deposit for) or direct debit. I am not willing to give any more DD access so until they come up with another payment method I wont switch. Even the girl I was talking to said noone goes for the cheque option because of the deposit.
    There are other reasons that people haven’t switched!

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