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Mr. Moffitt’s Profits Times – October 2017

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GDPR

IS YOUR BUSINESS AWARE OF THE NEW GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION WHICH REPLACES THE DATA PROTECTION DIRECTIVE 95/46/EC?

This will be enforced on 25th May 2018 and non-compliance can face heavy fines. GDPR covers data on computers and in paper files. An expert has predicted it will take up to one year for an SME to become GDPR compliant.

This link is a resource to enable you to familiarise yourself with the requirements: http://www.eugdpr.org/. Another website to look at is the Information Commissioners: http://www.ico.org.uk and search for the “Getting ready for the GDPR” page.

Auditel has access to a company of GDPR specialists who are working with Auditel. Please contact us if you require assistance from the GDPR specialists.

Water Deregulation : Progress So Far?

WE ASKED OUR RESIDENT AUDITEL GURU, CHRIS BARRETT, FOR HIS VIEWS CONCERNING THE PROGRESS OF WATER DEREGULATION SO FAR.

“Over 50,000 supply points have now transferred in the water market. However, this still only equates to over 2%, a disappointing return in comparison to other utility deregulations at this stage.

It has also now been recognised that this figure distorts the true picture, because many of these are associated with large multisite organisations. Thus the actual number of customers switching is far less – a fact often omitted.

The industry and regulator are quick to point to the low level of awareness of deregulation in the small business sector. However, this skirts round the real issue, which is that discount levels are so low that most customers would not wish to risk potential service upheaval for the meagre savings. Even TPI’s are reluctant to get involved because the scope for commissions or savings leaves even less to  play with.

Auditel are seeing discounts in the range of 1-3 % on average, though there are some exceptions dependent on location and the current tariff in place.

To add to this, it is becoming clear that the way in which suppliers are choosing to present their offers is making comparison of offers very difficult. Normally, this would be an opportunity for TPI’s but instead it is simply adding workload to a process that is yielding little benefit. Ofwat have challenged the water industry to address this.

Auditel believe that the problem would easily resolved by getting suppliers to present their offers in the same way other utilities do, and in the same format as the current published water prices (both wholesale and retail). The current format shows actual prices which is usually a standing charge and a unit rate. Yes, there are a lot of different tariffs based on meter or pipe size, volume used etc. However, the fundamentals are no more complex than electricity. By providing actual prices rather than uplifts and discounts, price comparison and future bill validation will be straightforward.

Following a recent seminar on deregulation at the recent RWM event on the 12th of September, it is clear that the industry believes that the main benefits of deregulation are choice of service offering alongside water efficiency. (RWM is the combination of four leading industry events—Energy, Renewables, Water Event and RWM). However, will this be sufficient to stimulate the market? Auditel’s experience of promoting energy efficiency shows that customers need  lot more time to commit the time, money and effort required. Whilst the water industry may not be brilliant on customer service, many customers probably do not have a perception that it is a problem, so what service benefit might there by from switching?

We suspect that the problem may relate  to the experience of deregulation in Scotland. With one incumbent set of prices, suppliers competed by offering discounts off the retail price. This became the accepted method and systems were developed on this basis. It would be good if the English registered water suppliers quoted like they do in Scotland.“

 

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