Look After My Bills

I caught a snippet of Dragon’s Den (I know, I know) last night, where a utility switching service was pitching their concept. It struck me that their idea essentially describes a lite version of Monzo’s marketplace model [+ all the other smart personal finance apps/bots out there]

Have any of the good people of the community had any experience with the service?

BBC News article below:

Dragon’s Den via iPlayer; pitch starts at 12m45, don’t let the TED Talk affectation put you off.

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Personally unless I had a buffer or paid for what I used (rather than fixed monthly direct debit) I wouldn’t use an energy switching service.

If you pay fixed, you might have to chase the old supplier for a refund of any credit you have with them after summer months, if you leave after winter months you’ll be left with an outstanding bill from where you spend more on heating through the winter.

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I like the concept and would save money for people who are too lazy to move suppliers. However I would prefer the cash-back myself rather than allowing them to pocket all the commission for the switch.

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Interesting pitch recently on Dragons Den with a similar product to what @tom has dreamed Monzo to become. Look After My Bills is an efficient and user-friendly way for consumers to switch supplier in industries such as energy and insurance etc.

The pitch secured the company £120,000 for just 3% of their business.

Monzo’s vision to be the ‘go to financial hub’ may face more competition to that title from businesses outside the challenger banks we are mostly obsessed with.

Thoughts?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45244761

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I think I’d take a second to consider what might happen to my data, considering one of the people involved was also involved in the Leave.EU / Cambridge Analytica / AIQ shenanigans.

:eyes:

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I’ve moved these posts to the existing thread on the topic.

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Thanks! :grin:

Outstanding find! Cheers @tbutz, I’ll take a look.

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@LaurenceJones totally, I think it’s very easy for customers/early adopters to become borderline fanatical over certain challenger/neo banking brands that have a very good PR/social media amplifier but there’s a ton of innovative tech and ideas out there driven by people that are very hungry for a slice of the pie.

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I can’t help thinking they’ll succeed just due to having good PR.

I’ve so far had 2 people on facebook tell me about it, plus the posts here, plus one of the people at work sent it to all staff! (duly reprimanted after a panic they’d got a virus as the email seemed so spammy).

I’d want to see what they intended to actually do first, and how it differs from uswitch.

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This is exactly my worry with Monzo’s approach with trying to morph into a financial hub later down the road, without setting out to do that in the first place.

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The PR value of appearing on Dragon’s Den is pretty immense. I’ve had friends appear on the Den to coincide with a crowdfund raise, which was a genius play. The goal was very much publicity over funding, they turned down the offer. And to that end it succeeded.

As an aside, in light of Mr @tbutz share, how comfortable do you feel dealing with a company whose directors may have broken electoral law, and was certainly involved with now discredited data analytics firms with the fall out resulting in one of the biggest changes to British political and economic life in the last 70 years? Discuss…
haha!

I have faith, (though it’s not blind). I trust that Monzo haven’t got their heads buried in the echochamber when it comes to competitors, they’re a diverse and connected organisation, but new money will be everything. I’m curious to know if it makes more sense for them to acquire and integrate an exiting leading edge technology rather than do it themselves - this thought led me to my original post actually!

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This might be the biggest selling point for investing in their company :joy: For a dragon to have someone who has experience influencing politics and economics in such a way is invaluable. ‘Insert evil overlord meme’ :japanese_ogre:

image

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I subscribed to craft gin club the night they were in the den and have been a customer since. It’s a powerful marketing tool on the BBC…

You can often tell the ones a mile off which have no real interest in funding from the dragons and are using it for 5 mins of fame

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So can they, normally. The Idle Man springs to mind.

Are you 100% sure? Their twitter posted 2hrs ago, and website still live…

https://twitter.com/idle

Fantasy Equity Crowdfunding posted this in July, but it was just their physical shop that closed. Online is still up and running.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Hum…

That triggered a spate of complaints from other readers, many of whom had been switched to the supplier by online service Look After My Bills (Lamb) and all of whom were owed significant sums.

In January, a Utility Point employee got in touch. According to the whistleblower, the company attracts custom with eyecatching deals then hikes direct debits in bulk, regardless of the credit balance. “This increases inward cash flow and, because the majority of customers come through Lamb and so are defined as ‘passive’, they don’t pick up on the increase until Lamb switches them to a new supplier,” my source told me.

“Because Lamb switched thousands of customers on the same day, the majority of which had been significantly overcharged, Utility Point did not have the resources to refund them within the 10 days required by the regulator, Ofgem. Continuing customers are in an even worse position; if they make a refund request, they are ignored.” The phone line was shut, the source said, because of the volume of customers calling. It’s since been reinstated.

I was going to look at this then I decided it was easier to just do it myself.