FAQs about switching to outfox the market

I have a SMART meter. Can I still switch?

You can switch without a hitch but first generation smart meters revert to dumb status when you move from the supplier who installed it. This just means you will have to read your meter manually.

If you have a SMETS2 meter you will also need to read you meter temporarily. We are working hard towards becoming fully Smart compatible and are on track for this by the end of summer 2020. Once we are fully smart we will be able to read your SMETS2 meter remotely.

If you are struggling to read your smart meter, please email us at kapow@outfoxthemarket.co.uk or click on this handy guide. How to read your Smart Meter

Why do you take the Direct Debit in advance?

Paying in advance by Direct Debit helps us keep our costs down and means we can buy your gas and electricity in advance. We then pass these savings back to our members with our incredibly low prices and fantastic tariffs.

When do you need my opening meter readings?

We can accept your readings from 5 days before to 5 days after the switch date. Don't worry, we will send you an email to remind you.

I am in a contract with my current supplier and don’t want to pay exit fees. Why can’t I choose my switch date?

The process takes approximately 21 days from when you initiate the switch. You will not have to pay any exit fees if you are in the final 49 days of a fixed term. OFGEM introduced this period to give customers a chance to switch in plenty of time without going out of contract and ending up on the most expensive standard tariffs.

I gave you my meter readings but my final bill has been estimated?

Your meter readings go from us to a 3rd party data collector for verification. If they do not think they fall quite in line with previous use - they will pass on a deemed/estimated reading for the opening/closing reading. Both suppliers use the same reading so you will never pay twice for the same energy. However, if you would prefer us to use your actual reading please contact your old supplier and ask them to raise a dispute.

Can I get a SMART meter?

We are in the final stages of becoming 'Smart' and should be ready to begin rollout at the end of summer 2020. We will inform all of our customers as soon as possible.

Can I choose my monthly payment date?

Yes, after you have made your first payment on the switch date you can choose your preferred day of the month.

Can I switch to Outfox the Market with a pre-payment meter?

Unfortunately, at the moment we cannot take on your supply if you have meter where you top up with a key, card or app.

It may be worthwhile contacting your current supplier to ask them to exchange your meter for a credit meter. You can then switch to Outfox the Market once this is done.

Can I switch to Outfox the Market with an Economy 7/two rate meter?

You certainly can, and you can also switch to a single rate tariff if this works out cheaper for you. We simply add up your day and night units to get the total energy you consume.

Why is my old supplier still charging me?

At Outfox the Market you pay your first direct debit on the switch date. Some other suppliers take their payments in arrears so around the time of the switch you may see two payments to two separate energy companies go out. One will be for the energy you are yet to use and one will be for energy you may already have used.

The good news is you will never pay for the same energy twice as both suppliers use the same readings to open and close your account.

Your previous supplier will always refund any over payments and you should expect your final bill within 6 weeks of the switch date.

Do I need to tell my old supplier before I switch?

No! – You can leave that to us. We will get in touch with them and we will also pass on your meter readings so they can close your account and send you a final statement.

We send these readings as soon as we receive them. It is worth bearing in mind that they go to a third party for validation so it can take up to 6 weeks for your old supplier to receive them.

How long does it take to receive my final bill from my old supplier?

Just before the switch date we will ask you to provide your opening meter readings which we then pass on to your old supplier. Before the readings arrive with your old supplier a third-party data collector will check them to make sure they fall in line with previous readings.

If you speak to your old supplier during the process you may hear them say that are still waiting for us to send them the readings. This just usually means they are still being checked or your old supplier hasn’t yet agreed with them. It can take up to 4 weeks and often call center staff will not have access to this information.

Depending on the supplier your final bill should be with you within 4-6 weeks.

Will I have to pay exit fees for leaving my old supplier?

Ofgem the industry regulator introduced a rule that suppliers cannot charge exit fees if you are within the final 49 days of a fixed term contract. They did this so customers have plenty of time to switch before being automatically switched to the most expensive tariff. The dreaded standard variable tariff!

If you have longer to go on your contract you may wish to speak to your current supplier.

What happens to the credit/debit I have with my old supplier?

If you are in credit once your final statement has been created your old supplier will transfer the funds directly to your bank account.

If you have an outstanding balance you will need to clear this as soon as possible. Some suppliers may object to the switch if there is a debt on the account which can delay the switch.

Shall I cancel my direct debit with my old supplier?

You are well within your rights to cancel your direct debit but you may want to check with your old supplier so it doesn’t have an effect on any final payments or refunds.

You may find two payments go out to both companies in the first month (don’t worry - you will never pay twice for the same energy) so you may wish to cancel your direct debit with your old supplier to avoid this, although if you are in credit they will have to send you a cheque instead of simply depositing back into your account.

Why has my previous supplier objected to my switch to Outfox the Market?

Sometimes your previous supplier may raise an objection to your switch which will stop it from going ahead. There are a number of reasons why they may have done this – you could have an outstanding balance on your account, you may be in a fixed term contract or the national database may have incorrect information for your address. Due to data protection, we are not told why.

What shall I do?

Once we receive notification of the objection we will email you and ask you to contact your supplier and ask them to remove the objection. If they agree to this, you can then let us know at kapow@outfoxthemarket.co.uk and we can reapply for the switch.

I want to cancel my switch to Outfox the Market?

All customers have the right to change their minds in the 14-day cooling off period and you can let us know via our Live Chat or www.outfoxthemarket.co.uk

If your cooling-off period has ended, we will switch your supply on the due date and you can then register with the supplier of your choice and begin the process to move away. You will be billed for the period Outfox the Market you for.

How can I get in touch?

There are several ways of getting in touch with our customer service team.

Live Chat – simply visit our website www.outfoxthemarket.co.uk to chat to one of our team.

We’ll respond to your chats between 8.00am to 7pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5.00pm on Fridays and 9am to 2pm on Saturdays.

Email – If you can’t find an answer to your question in our help section you can email us at kapow@outfoxthemarket.co.uk

Telephone - Call us on 0800 103 2702

Can I get a quote for my business?

Sorry! At the moment we concentrate solely on our domestic customers so we are unable to provide a service for your business.

Do you provide the Warm Home Discount?

At the moment we do not offer the Warm Home Discount. You shouldn’t necessarily be put off by this as the savings we make our customers are often greater than the £140 credit you may receive with the WHD. It is always worth double-checking your figures.

My gas is supplied by an independent gas transporter (IGT), what does this mean?

The majority of the UK is supplied by the national grid for their gas supply. An IGT means an independent company manages the pipes that supply your home. This is often the case in rural areas and newly built properties.

You can find out if your home is supplied by an IGT by checking your meter point reference number (found on any old bill). If it starts with a 74, 75, 76 or 77 you are one of the special ones!

In the olden days, you may have had to pay more or it might take longer to switch, but thanks to a new industry-wide project called Nexus you shouldn’t experience any difficulties.

Is Outfox the Market regulated by OFGEM?

We certainly are! It is OFGEM’s responsibility to regulate all gas and electricity suppliers and protect the interests of energy consumers.

These are some of the things they do:

Control tariffs and pricing

Promote fair competition within the industry

Make sure the supply going into people’s house is secure

Help suppliers reduce environmental damage

Ensure suppliers meet the needs of vulnerable consumers

Track performance, including the number and type of complaints for each supplier.

Outfox the Market comply with all regulations and standards and customers have exactly the same protections and guarantees that they would have with a company in the Big 6.

How long does it take to switch?

It usually takes 21 days to switch and we will deal with everything including contacting your old supplier to inform them you are leaving. All we ask from you is to read your meter closer to the switch date. We will then pass these readings on to your old supplier to make sure you get an accurate final bill.

How do you work out my Direct Debit payments?

Every gas or electricity meter has an estimated annual consumption (EAC) figure associated with it. This is given to your supplier by the energy industry, it’s not calculated or controlled by us and it can update and become more accurate if you provide regular readings.

This can be inaccurate if: you’ve recently moved home, you don’t give regular readings, or your energy use fluctuates.

Once we have an idea of how much energy you use – we can then work out the cost.

Your tariff (unit rates and standing charges)

How much your energy costs depend on your tariff’s unit rate and daily standing charge. A unit rate is a price per unit of energy (pence per kilowatt hour) and if you’re on a fixed tariff, this won’t change during your contract. A standing charge is a price per day (pence per day) which will also be fixed during a fixed tariff.

Your monthly Direct Debit amount will be based on the amount of energy we think you’ll use each year of your contract and either divided equally by 12 or weighted according to winter/summer seasonality. Under the weighted method, Winter Direct Debit amounts run from October-March, Summer Direct Debit amounts run from April-September.

For customers on our variable tariffs the costs are worked out the same, but they can go up or down. We will always provide a minimum of 30 days-notice if we change our prices.

Once we have your estimated usage and the tariff price you have chosen -we can work out your monthly Direct Debit payments.

Your account balance

If you’ve been underpaying, your account balance will be less than it should be, possibly in debit. We will suggest a payment that covers both your expected usage, as well as the shortfall that’s already happened.

If you’ve been overpaying by a lot, we will offer a refund as well as lowering your payment amount. For small over-payments, we will just lower your payment amount.

If it’s been a while since you provided meter readings, your current account balance will be based on estimates, so it might not be accurate.

What is my standing charge?

A daily standing charge is used to cover the fixed costs of making gas and/or electricity available for you to use. It is charged against each meter, so if you have one gas meter and one electricity meter, you will be charged two standing charges, one for each fuel supplied. Standing charges are usually given in terms of pence per day (per meter), e.g. 25p/day.

Your standing charge keeps your home connected to the energy network, including maintaining your meter, maintaining the network, and ensuring energy can be transported to your home. Your standing charge also contributes towards the cost of government initiatives like reducing carbon emissions and supporting vulnerable customers.

If you have a 'complex' metering arrangement we apply a separate standing charge for each meter-point we supply.

How do you work out my gas usage?

We convert gas units from your meter into kWH to make sure the energy output is priced consistently. We do this by using this formula.

  1. Convert from imperial to metric by multiplying the units by 2.83.
  2. Multiply by volume correction factor (1.02264).
  3. Multiply by calorific value (39.0).
  4. Divide by kWh conversion factor (3.6). = Energy Used.