ScottishPower challenges British Gas on cost savings

ScottishPower is launching an offensive against rival British Gas with the introduction of new customer bills that will show the savings that ScottishPower consumers make compared to those who get their gas and electricity from British Gas.

A spokesman for the company says that the move is in line with ScottishPower’s strategy of exploiting its customer bill as a marketing tool.

The Scottish utility company has more than 3.5 million customers.

An industry insider says that since the consolidation in the gas and electricity market, the utility companies have increasingly needed to win over customers, and that the only attractive offering for customers is price differentiation.

British Gas was recently slammed by industry watchdog Energywatch, when it experienced billing difficulties affecting thousands of its electricity customers. According to Energywatch, British Gas failed to bill almost 50,000 customers for some time – four years in the worst cases. It also pointed out that the consumers affected were in debt to the tune of &£13m.

According to reports, British Gas conceded that about 10,000 customers had been waiting for their first bills for “more than a year”. But the company also insisted that the problem was industry-wide, resulting from errors in the complex process of data transfer as customers switch from one company to another.

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