My personal electricity account went ‘off-plan’ a few months ago without me noticing.
This quarter the bill arrived charged at the penalty rate that applies for people that do not keep track of when the old plan expires.
The company happily supplied a quote for a new plan at a thirty percent discount on usage charges, not supply charges.
A perfectly valid way of looking at this is that electricity is billed out at a base profit rate for those that keep ‘on plan’ and billed out at the second tier ‘super-profit’ penalty rate for those that do not notice the account falling off-plan.
The thirty percent ‘discount’ to get back to the base rate could equally be described as a fifty percent penalty whacked onto the base rate whenever the customer doesn’t notice.
One quarter billed at the super profit penalty rate could be as profitable as many quarters at the base rate, which incentivises the business model of grabbing as many customers as possible and hoping they slip into the super-profit customer bracket eventually.
Now going with a ‘permanent low’ company that advertises no discount plan, just competitive pricing all the time without periods of superprofit penalties.