October – The Month So Far

hamed adefuwa october month update

This month has been a crazy month for me. I’ve been working at home for four months and now things are starting to get full on, when I started I was doing one contract every two days, now I’m averaging near two a day. Obviously, all business is good business but I do think I need to play it a little smart and improve my organisational skills.

My Headache

bad customer service hamed adefuwa
 
I’m suffering from constant pain in the shape of one particular energy supplier. If it wasn’t for the fact I have an agreement with them I would name them. They are one of the most unethical companies I’ve ever experience, they operate like a dodgy law firm/stock brokerage. I’ve switched over twenty-five businesses away from them in the last four months and they have unlawfully objected or blocked the transfer of at least fifteen of them. This creates more work for me, more emails and more phone calls. That’s not even the worse part, the customer ends up on out of contract prices just so that the supplier makes an extra £50.
 
I always advise organising your contracts a few months before the contract end date, this allows for time to deal with these ridiculous tactics.
 
That aside, the prices are fairly high at the moment but I’ve managed to negotiate some fantastic deals. After the Brexit vote and as the value of the British £ continues to drop, the energy prices rise further and even in this climate I’m still saving company owners money. It makes a headache worth it.
 
I’m incredibly pleased with my progress so far this month, to be honest, I owe it to some amazingly nice customers as of recent.

Mr Cook

 
I’d like to mention one customer, in particular, an extremely nice gentleman, I’ll name him Mr Cook for this purpose. He was born in July 1930, he lives in a small village in north England, I’m not sure what he did for a living but now he is a trustee for four charities in his village. He manages their accounts, balances their books, deals with tax and even shops around to get them great deals on their energy. At the age of 86, he’s a real legend, Mr Cook was emailing me at 10pm, he printed, signed and scanned me back a letter of authority and even used his smartphone to record a video of his meter so I could have a look at his meter.
 
I love the elderly, I feel like they are the most neglected in our society and I hate the fact that in the UK if I offer to help an old woman carry her milk, she would be too scared to accept my offer in case I run away with her bags. Honestly, it’s a real shame.
 
Mr Cook, however, is really trusting, he’s clued up and incredibly intelligent. I don’t like to think about being in my eighties but if I ever get there, I hope I’d be able to work out if a no standing charge and 11.2p per kWh rate is cheaper than a 22p standing charge with a 10.4p per kWh rate. These are calculations forty-year-old adults running successful companies often struggle with and Mr Cook has it in the bag.
 
I’d like to think that I helped Mr Cook get a good deal for his village hall but the truth is he helped me. I end this post as I started it, it’s been a stressful month but Mr Cook reminded me why I love my job and I wish Mr Cook many more years of health and happiness.

Hamed Daily #9 – £150 More Expensive

hamed adefuwa hamed daily blog

I intend with these posts to document everything that happens in my work day and walk you through my day. I am hopeful that by showing everyone my way of working I will be given the opportunity to arrange your friends & families business energy contracts.

Please note all customers mentioned in this are real however their names have been changed in order to protect their identity. If you happen to read about yourself and are happy to be named then I can do so and will also attach your business information to your name.

Let Today Begin – 03/10/2016

I’m extremely pleased with how early I’m getting out of bed in the mornings these days. It was only a few weeks ago I was dragging my dead body out of bed at 8.45am – now I’m up 6am beating the sun. Today was a fantastic day, I made a very nice amount of commission, which is the main reason anyone does such a job. To add to the blessing of being able to look after my family, I also have the pleasure of knowing I solved many problems today and even saved one lovely lady £550 on a £4000 bill.

hamed adefuwa hamed daily blog

Super Grateful May

I’ve been chasing May for months, six months to be exact. She assumed I was a nonsense caller but I didn’t give up. I kept trying and she gave me a chance. I gave her my best price with her current supplier Npower. She pulled out a bill and I was saving her near 20% while renewing her with Npower, May was over the moon. Usually, when I sign someone up they behave like they did me a favour, but she was seriously grateful when I had only saved her £70 a year. I figured I’d try helping further by asking about her gas as well. Turns out she was on British Gas’s variable price plan and paying a lot. Thankfully, I quoted her with British Gas and saved her £550 on her gas. You can imagine May’s reaction to that news. Now she wants me to take a look at her water bill, I have no knowledge on water but when the market opens I might take a look into it.

May was clever in renewing with her current supplier, sometimes switching isn’t always a good idea. If the saving in switching is small, and you switch and then end up on out of contract rates due to credit vetting issues, unpaid bills or lazy administration from your current supplier, your saving could be wiped out in a week or two on high prices.

“Hamed Pick Whoever You Want”

Steve runs a small security company. I signed him up last year and had the same success this year. Steve was incredibly busy but savvy. He unlike most didn’t need me to remind him ten times to terminate his contract. Thankfully he came onto my site, downloaded my termination email and sent it to his current supplier – legend.

Last year I put his consumption down as the national average, which after speaking to Steve this morning, it was 10x the amount he actually used. As Steve’s consumption was so low, the cheapest supplier was £25 cheaper than the most expensive, all other suppliers were in between the two. Steve didn’t mind who he went with and just said: “Hamed, pick whoever you want, I don’t mind, I’ll leave it for you to decide.” For me only two companies are in the race to be the best for customer service; OVO Energy and Scottish & Southern Energy. Considering SSE have been praised at every award ceremony and are well on track to be the first ever company in the UK to achieve a gold star in customer service (see here), I recommended them to him. Let’s hope they don’t let me down!

Food for thought; many people will say the price is all they care about, but it’s not the truth. Price may be the only thing you factor in when making a decision as to who you go with, but ultimately you care as to whether your energy supplier takes 5x the amount they’re supposed to out of your bank account. You also care as to whether your supplier decides due to you having a low consumption, they’ll be changing your prices, but you’re free to leave and find a new supplier just two months into the contract agreed. You also probably care that the energy supplier you’ve chosen remembers to apply for your transfer. These are all real problems many customers face so choosing a good supplier who’s 1.5% more expensive might be the better option sometimes.

£150 More Expensive

Sulayman is a guy I really respect. I called him eighteen months ago when I was working for a supplier and he told me his contract ends at the end of 2016. It was a brief conversation but I remembered it, Sulayman knew what he was paying, told me and I said I’d definitely beat it. Last week I called Sulayman and to my surprise, he remembered me. I was amazed, some people I speak to multiple times a week, sign them up and they forget me but not him. What impressed me further was he runs a convenience store that was very busy and he still stayed on the phone to listen to my prices.

It gets better…

He was currently paying a very high price with British Gas which he was unfortunately put on two years ago. He then told me he got another price from another broker. Nine times out of ten this wouldn’t have been a problem but the price he got was old, and the prices since July have been rising by around 8% each month. I wasn’t about to try and explain to Sulayman that my price would be higher, I just tried my best to beat it, I couldn’t.

I decided to work out how much more expensive I would be for every 20,000 kwhs he used. Turns out I was £60 more expensive per 20,000 kwhs. I was honest and explained I was more expensive, we worked out he used 50,000 kwhs a year so I was £150 over the year more expensive than the other price he had been offered.

The good news for both of us, Sulayman liked me, and more importantly, I was still £650 over the year cheaper than what he was paying least year with British Gas. I asked if he would sign with me and he agreed.

I sent him the contract to sign and the letter of authority, I got the letter of authority back but unfortunately not the contract. He was a bit tied up but tried to send me the contract again but it failed. He tried to take a picture of it but it wasn’t clear enough to pass the quality checks, so I asked him to send it back to me via email which I’m hoping will be coming back tomorrow.

There wouldn’t be a rush normally except for the fact that all of the suppliers have increased their prices massively due to some nonsense involving EDF not generating enough energy due to them carrying out random tests. Sounds a little fishy to me personally but it is what it is.

Energy Tip: I do advise everyone that is sorting out their energy contract to set aside a few hours on one day and get it done, as opposed to dragging out over two or three weeks. When comparing prices, you might have a price from two weeks ago that is now out of date and has since increased. This only takes up more time. What you can do is ask brokers and suppliers to contact you on your selected day. The guys who have good deals with suppliers will contact you on that day, and the ones seeking massive commission will leave you alone.

Hamed Daily #8 – I Worked!

robin the cat hamed adefuwa

I intend with these posts to document everything that happens in my work day and walk you through my day. I am hopeful that by showing everyone my way of working I will be given the opportunity to arrange your friends & families business energy contracts.

Please note all customers mentioned in this are real however their names have been changed in order to protect their identity. If you happen to read about yourself and are happy to be named then I can do so and will also attach your business information to your name.

Let Yesterday Begin – 27/09/2016

Up from 6am, started working 7am, still recovering from my cold and sore throat – it was a morning of mixed feelings. Few teaspoons of honey & a coffee and I was ready to go. I’m really out to improve my own work rate, I’ve decided to push myself and the stats are going through the roof. Monday 27th of September was my best day on the phone since June and I’m glad.

robin the cat hamed adefuwa
Robin, my cat, considering her career options…

No LOA

It took me over a week to get a signed letter of authority from Claire. She’s in charge of all the paperwork for two garages. Her bosses; Daniel & Dave are sound guys but their strength is fixing cars not chatting with me on the phone so whenever I try to speak to them about the energy they just fob me off. Thankfully Claire sent me the letter of authority yesterday so I was finally able to process the contract I did with her last week. The great thing about switching people to British Gas is the price very rarely changes more than once a month. Had the prices we agreed with her last week changed, Claire and I would have had to redo the contract on new prices.

I submitted everything to British Gas straight away and then got a very silly email. I had been sloppy when going over the prices with Claire. As she didn’t use any electricity at night I only spoke to her about the day rate and the standing charge, completely forgetting there was a night rate on her meter. When we did the verbal contract I forgot to mention the night rate and thus British Gas required I call Claire and confirm she’s still happy to proceed with the night rate.

As with all these problems, they are never quite as simple as they sound. I called the garage and Claire had gone home. Now I’m on the phone to Dave, who wants me off the phone as much as I want a chicken kebab. I decided to take a long shot and ask Dave if he’d allow me to confirm the new prices with him. To my surprise he agreed but persisted in saying numerous times, “Hamed, as long as it won’t cost me any more money and it’s exactly what ‘Claire’ agreed to – I’m happy.” Call recording done, Dave has me off the phone, British Gas are happy and I’m off the hook.

Omar & The Missing Bank Details

I’ve signed up Omar a few times now and unfortunately his situation is a very messy one. I have a good solution for him but he’s a busy guy and things do drag out quite a bit. Running a restaurant is no easy task and things have been difficult for him recently so I do my best to be understanding. I like to think of my job as understanding people’s problems and coming up with solutions.

Omar has had a lot of issues with his current supplier, he was even disconnected once, which as a restaurant can be disastrous. He’s currently paying off the debt with his supplier. They have accepted termination from him and we are hopeful his switch will be successful. Omar agreed on a deal with Scottish Power three weeks ago but as he took two weeks to send me the bank details the contract couldn’t be locked in so now the prices have changed.

We agreed to use a different company without credit issues and switch to Scottish Power and Gazprom but now we have the same issue as three weeks ago. I had to process the contract before midnight but Omar hasn’t sent me the bank details so now I’m just holding my breath hoping the prices don’t increase.

Quick tip: If you’re in debt with your supplier, nine times out of ten, your supplier will tell you you’re not allowed to switch supplier. This technically isn’t true. In most cases, if you agree to set up a repayment plan with your supplier’s debt team, for example; twelve monthly instalments of £400, they will allow you to switch to a new supplier as long as you agree to continue repaying them after you switch. I would not advise cancelling the repayment plan thereafter as the debt collection process can get messy from then on and its just not worth it.

Adam & Credit Issues

Adam is a great guy, managed to save him a lot of money last year but this time, round it’s been in vain. His current supplier is offering stupid prices and every supplier I’ve moved him to has refused him due to credit score. He’s a recruitment consultant from home so he doesn’t have all the time in the world for me. I managed to sign him up with Gazprom on a truly fantastic gas price of 2.01 pence p/kWh. I was worried he would fail credit with them and he did.

These credit issues really can cause problems, thankfully there are some suppliers that will pretty much take on customers with any credit score. Npower & Opus are the shining stars when it comes to gloomy nights and gloomy credit scores. The price I got him off Npower wasn’t great, it was an extra £10 a month on top of what he paid for gas last year. It’s not great but its still cheaper than what most pay on a domestic tariff.

I’m confident Adam will pass credit with Npower so hopefully, he can stop focusing on all this energy stuff and concentrate on his business.

Time for me to go and focus on my business, its 9.30am and I’ve got work to do!

Hamed Adefuwa

Hamed Daily #7 – “Never Call Us That Again”

hamed adefuwa energy consultant islington north london

I intend with these posts to document everything that happens in my work day and walk you through my day. I am hopeful that by showing everyone my way of working I will be given the opportunity by you, to organise your friends & families business energy contracts.

Please note all customers mentioned in this are real however their names have been changed in order to protect their identity. If you happen to read about yourself and are happy to be named then I can do so and will also attach your business information to your name.

Let Yesterday Begin – 19/09/2016

hamed adefuwa energy consultant islington north london

Monday started well, very well. Up from 6am, didn’t bother with a coffee, I was pumped. I’m hopeful that by waking up early and replying to all my emails, writing this blog post, doing some exercise and planning my day – I will be able to work more efficiently and be able to call all the people I have scheduled for that day.

Chris – Forgot Me Again

In 2014 it took me about twenty calls to sign up Chris, 2015 it took about twenty to thirty and this year I’ve called him fourteen times so far. I’m willing to call him another 20-30 times before I give up. Chris is lovely, he costs me 45 seconds a day so I don’t mind calling him. He only uses 3,200 kWh a year, so my commission is about £20 but who cares. I like the guy and I want to get him a better price. I don’t mind making £20 a year off Chris for the next ten years.

Bob – Oh Crap Erm!

You may remember Bob from Hamed Daily #2. He’s a fantastic guy. I hadn’t spoken to him since I messed up on the voicemail I left him a week ago. Thankfully this morning he picked up and he was delighted to hear from me. Thankfully he didn’t mention my awkward voicemail! I asked him how things were with his current supplier and he claimed they were really good, no issues at all. The only problem he’s had is that they’ve sent him a letter claiming that because he uses a low amount of energy, they want to change his tariff and break his contract – I’m not impressed. He’s now not sure if his contract finishes in January like it was supposed too or if he can leave them next month when they change his tariff. It’s something I’m not aware of so I promised that if he gets me back the letter of authority I would ask the question to see if he can leave sooner rather than later.

I then asked concerning his new contract and if he would allow me to get some prices for him again this year. Thankfully he agreed and I gave him a call back within 15 minutes with some prices. His current supplier refused to quote as his contract end date apparently was too far out.

Side Note: This is another boring tactic suppliers use in the hope that you would wait until right before your contract ends. This tactic works superbly firstly because if you wait until six or seven weeks before your contract ends, you may be busy doing other things, then forget about it and end up being rolled over for a further twelve months. The amount of customers I know that have fallen for this is ridiculous, I try to warn them but who am I? The second reason it works so well is that even if you don’t forget, by the time they give you your price, you have three weeks to deal with it so you feel the pressure. You think; “should I cancel my contract, go on out of contract, wait a week or two or just agree to renew with them?” Nine out of ten times, the person renews with their current supplier.

Returning back to Bob, I asked his opinion concerning a two or three-year contract as I had managed to get a price that was cheaper than what he was currently paying on a two-year deal but he requested the one-year deal, (which are most times cheaper.) Thankfully ten minutes later, Bob was a happy customer, I went through the verbal script with him and all was gravy. The only issue now is that as I’m writing this, Bob still hasn’t emailed me back a signed letter of authority. The problem with this is that I am unable to process the contract without a letter of authority, so now (7am Tuesday morning) if the prices I agreed with him change, then we’ll have to run through the verbal contract again.

Please, guys; as a request from all energy consultants – send us back a signed letter of authority ASAP. We can’t do anything without it!

Carl – I Love Pharmacies

Carl runs a small pharmacy in Wales, he’s a really nice guy – I know I say that about everyone but I do like the Welsh. I signed up one of Carl’s two meters eighteen months ago and truthfully I was supposed to call him back in May this year but I completely forgot. I spoke to him yesterday and he had no clue who I was but was cheerful none the less. After doing some story telling, he remembered or at least pretended to and I continued to try to establish his current situation. It appears he didn’t know much about the two contracts either so he may have been automatically renewed for both. The only way to know for sure would be to ask him for a bill, he said they’re at home and he’d be bringing them in on Tuesday so hopefully today goes well and we can get some clarity.

Mr Smith – “Never Call Us That Again”

The title of this post is regarding Mr Smith. He’s a great guy but accidentally, he’s fallen trap to the tricks of brokers. I quoted Mr Smith last week at 11.2 pence p/kWh for his electricity. Another broker has come along and quoted him 11.5 pence p/kWh for three years. Which sounds like a good deal but wait, it’s an annual price review contract. I mean it’s all in the name – Annual Price Review. Each year the company will send you a letter sixty days before your contract ends informing you what your new prices will be for the following twelve months. If you don’t say anything to them, they will automatically put you on those prices and if you find a better price, you can leave if you terminate your contract thirty days before your contract ends. Sounds familiar? Of course, it does because it’s just a one-year contract made to sound like a three year one.

Mr Smith isn’t the only one to fall for this contract, I’ve lost a few customers to this tactic. I did my best to explain this to Mr Smith but obviously he instead probably thought, Pssh Hamed you don’t know what you’re talking about. Regardless he’s a good lad, owns a launderette and is quite relaxed. He supports Bristol Rovers, who just recently got bought out by a Jordanian Billionaire. Obviously, he’s excited and hopes they’ll get to the Premier League, he even took a dig at my crappy team (Manchester United) – which they deserve since they’re performing horribly. We had a good chat about his football team and I made the unfortunate mistake of calling Bristol Rovers, “Bristol.” He then laughed and warned me; “Never call us that again, we are the Rovers! We all hate being called Bristol, it’s like calling Nottingham Forest, Nottingham.” I just laughed, football is indeed a funny game and us football fans are a little bit silly.

May – Tell Me More About You

I’ve been trying to pin May down and get her to look at my prices. Often the biggest misconception with my job is that most believe my job is to switch customers from one supplier to another. Now don’t get me wrong, that is 80% of what I do. However, there is still a big part of my job which just involves renewing customers with the same suppliers. May has been speaking to me for the last week constantly telling me she is happy with Npower and wants to stay with them.

Today she decided to have a bit of a rant about her water bill, she wanted me to get her a better deal on her water. It’s not a market I’m looking into right now so I said I couldn’t help. She then randomly decided to give me more attention and said: “Please tell me more about you, your company, I want to know how you are able to get a better price from Npower than what I’m paying.” I then realised she had actually checked my price and became excited. I asked her if she knew what she was paying so I could compare and work out her consumption. She said she would dig out a bill for me on Thursday so things are looking good with her.

Omar – No Bank Details

You may remember I worked until 8pm a week and a half ago with Omar to sort out his gas and electricity. Sadly lately it was a bit wasted because Omar didn’t have his bank details on him when we did the contract. As I only take peoples, account numbers and sort codes, I’m used to most people having them memorised. Omar rents out the restaurant so he wanted to use the bank details of the people he rents the restaurant out too which is fair enough. He had a few family problems and took ten days to send me the bank details. The prices changed massively over those ten days so now we will have to recontract him. The supplier we agreed for him to switch too, prices had gone up by about 3% and I also managed to get him prices from two other suppliers which was actually 3% cheaper than what we agreed. Obviously, I recommended switching to the other two suppliers instead. Now I’m just waiting on a response from him for what he wants to do.

Usually, I go out for a walk during the work day as a break but yesterday I ended up working straight through from 6am to 5pm. It was a fantastic day and I’m hoping for more of the same today.

Speak to you soon!

Hamed
0208 050 5456

Hamed Daily #1 – “You Know Why I’m Calling”

hamed adefuwa kent park

Hello, guys, this is a new thing for me and I really appreciate you reading this. I intend with these posts to document everything that happens in my work day and walk you through my day. I’m hopeful that with this, it will enable more people to understand what energy consultants do after they put the phone down and also a bit more about how the industry works.

As I’m not attached to any company or supplier, I have the ability to be neutral. I am hopeful that by showing everyone my way of working I will be given the opportunity by you, to organise your friends & families business energy contracts.

Please note all customers mentioned in this are real however their names have been changed in order to protect their identity. If you happen to read about yourself and are happy to be named then I can do so and will also attach your business information to your name.

_____

Let The Day Begin – 06/09/2016

hamed adefuwa kent park

The Wonderful Dave

A gloomy morning started with me waking up late. I received a call while getting dressed from Dave. I ended up missing the call so I finished getting dressed, sat down at my desk and called him back. I’d previously signed up Dave a month ago, he owns a garage. Dave and I have a great relationship, he’s ridiculously funny and loves to take the mickey.

The conversation started with him shouting “You know why I’m calling.” I actually had no idea, I assumed there had been a registration problem in regards to him switching energy suppliers. I checked the date he was due to switch and it wasn’t until 27/09/2016. I responded confused and weirdly saying, “ok so you’re due to switch in three weeks time?” He then went on to explain he’s spoken to the two companies and hit a brick wall and doesn’t know what to do. I’m still confused at this point but I try to play along.

After five minutes of Dave assuming, I know what he’s talking about and me pretending to know what he’s talking about, I realised this approach wasn’t fruitful. I decided to outright ask and although I looked stupid, it helped, he explained properly and I remembered. A month ago I promised I would help Dave get some of the money that’s owed to him by his previous supplier (E-ON) back.

Side Note

Dealing with energy suppliers can be a pain in the backside, you have to always understand that although all of these companies are in the same industry they all are structured differently. I worked for Extra Energy and they were all in one building over three floors so if there was an issue, I could walk upstairs and speak directly to the person I needed. British Gas, however, they’re Electricity department is based in Leicester while their gas department is based in South Africa.

I’ve now emailed E-ON asking if Dave has any credit on his account and if so can it be paid into his bank account that they should have on file. I’m yet to hear back from them however E-ON are a solid company and one of the pioneers in terms of customer services so I wouldn’t be surprised if they respond saying it’s done.

Laziness Kicked In

The day went a bit quiet as I’ve been a bit lazy recently. I had a such a great month in August I’ve been so slow to pick up the phone in search for new business. I then decided to go out for the day and as always when you want to relax you those emails that you have to attend too.

Mr Imrans uncle who just recently took over a garage and came to help, his electricity and gas have been objected to by British Gas. Reason? Only British Gas know and as with all suppliers, they refuse to explain to me the reason for their objection. I called Mr Imran on the train and explained that even though his uncle was on out of contract with British Gas they have objected to the transfer. Hoping this one gets sorted ASAP, Mr Imran is a good customer of mine.

At around 3pm I sat down with my laptop and some coffee and figured I’d try to chase a few people. Michael wasn’t at his desk, which is to be expected since no one of any importance is really at their desk in the afternoon. Aisha wasn’t at her supermarket either and I left a voicemail for Omar.

Bless Catherine

Thankfully my day ended on a positive, Npower returned the countersigned contract for a lovely customer of mine, Catherine. I then emailed it and the terms and conditions over to her.

Bless Catherine, she’s an accountant for big estate agents, she’s been really poorly recently, had a big operation in the summer and has been recovering since. Their electricity bill is £52,000 a year and unfortunately because of all the personal issues and then a delay in getting prices from Npower, now they will, unfortunately, be on out of contract prices for a month. That’s an extra £2500 profit for SSE because of issues that happened at no fault to the customer.

Unfortunately, these things happen but I’ll make sure next year we sign up Catherine nice and early, way before the end of her contract when the prices are great.

After only calling twelve customers today I ended my work day. Can’t say I’m very impressed with my day. I hope to get up much earlier tomorrow, do some morning exercise and at least call 30 customers. I hope your day was better than mine.