Signing up to separate companies for your broadband, gas, electricity and various other needs can be so time-consuming… and, it turns out, unnecessarily costly, too. It has been claimed that some households could trim the cost of their annual utilities bills by up to £700 by outsourcing them. How do you outsource your own bills? We’ve decided to investigate…
The One Time You Shouldn’t Cut Out The Middleman?
There are numerous firms that claim to be able to not only bundle various household bills into a single regular payment, but also save their customers money compared to the usual method of arranging direct deals with individual suppliers. That seems peculiar, but many households have clearly been more than tempted; the firms in question, including Dividabill, Glide and Split The Bills, have reported an 80% increase in customers since mid-2014.
So, how have these companies clinched these appealing financial deals for their customers? Because, according to them, they have exclusive agreements with utilities suppliers, which enables them to offer prices which the suppliers themselves can’t offer directly. Saumeel Pachigar, one of Dividabill’s founders, told The Telegraph: “We tell suppliers that we have this group of customers who they can sell to without any extra marketing costs for them”.
How Much Can You Save?
Usually, we are told that shopping around with individual suppliers will help you to get the best deals. Turning to a single company to take care of all of your household bills is the opposite of this; however, various impressive figures have been cited in favour of this unorthodox tactic. For example, Dividabill has claimed that a four-bedroom house on a standard variable tariff from one of the six leading energy suppliers could benefit from an annual saving of at least £100 thanks to the outsourcing method.
Dividabill says that this is because deals from such suppliers are typically the most financially hefty; they can cost £250 more than the least expensive tariffs! However, Dividabill further claims that, thanks to its unique relationship with suppliers, some households could yearly save as much as £700. These savings could get even better over time; Pachigar says: “The more customers we get, the better position we’ll be in to get preferential rates.”
Be Careful To Check The Small Print
Nonetheless, if you are now seriously considering outsourcing your bills to one of these “middle man” companies, you should keep in mind that these companies are not all equal in their policies and prices. Therefore, you shouldn’t entirely drop shopping around…
Ashley Tate, a co-founder of Split The Bills, has admitted that his company does weekly charge customers 99p each – that adds up to an approximate yearly charge of £500. On the other hand, Dividabill, so Pachigar says, doesn’t charge its customers. He further points out that “if a cheaper energy tariff comes up, we look at exit fees to see if it pays to switch. We don’t want it to be a premium service.” It’s worth maintaining an eagle eye for such policy differences.