Friday, February 4, 2011

Again with Mercury Energy's Fixed price of electricity

We've looked at some implications of Mercury Energy's fixed price offer both here and here

We thought we'd do a little bit more investigating for you (the reader) as our posts about Mercury Energy's fixed price offer have been incredibly popular. 

So we nominated our lawyer to call the Mercury contact centre.  He reports as follows:

"I spent eight minutes waiting on the phone to speak with someone.  I didn't think that this was good enough.  I called mid afternoon on a friday because I know that this is when the waiting times are the smallest.  Eight minutes at peak demand is not good enough.
I then spoke with somone who was English second language and she had to transfer me.  I then spoke with a Divina who was very polite and said she couldn't help and would have to get someone to give me a call back.  She said within 30 seconds.  A Tanya gave me call back in 67 seconds.  (Yes I was counting). 

A few things were interesting :
There is a termination fee of $150 if you cancel the contract early.  This fee stays the same irrespective of if you cancel in the first month or the last. 
This $150 fee applies if you switch away from Mercury for any reason, or if you leave the country.  The implication was that if you died it would not be charged.  Very nice of Mercury. 
The offer was only for "special and valued customers" which Tanya agreed was anyone who paid their bills consistantly. 
You can go on the fixed term plan even if you are vulnerable, or medically dependent
If you are wanting to switch to Mercury apparantly they will not offer you these prices. 
Tanya said that in the past three years that electricity has risen 18-20%.   So a power company has said that their average price rise is 6-7% a YEAR.  Whilst she would not say it outright, she implied that these price rises would continue. " 

Based on that it's all very interesting information.  Be careful of that breakfee.  Are you wanting to commit to staying in NZ for three years?  It's also really interesting the implication that Mercury are expecting price rises of 18-20% in the next three years.  Look at your $250 power bill, in three years that will be a $300 power bill. 

Hopefully that this has answered some questions about Mercury Energy's fixed price offer. 

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