Utility Warehouse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Utility Warehouse
Brand Name
Industry Public utility
Founded 2002
Headquarters Hendon
Products
Parent Telecom Plus PLC
Website Utility Warehouse

Utility Warehouse is a multi-utility provider based in London, England. It is the brand name for its parent company, Telecom Plus,[1] with Utility Warehouse operating as a separate brand.[2] It currently handles over 600,000 customer accounts with the help of over 40,000 independent distributors. Utility Warehouse supplies customers with landline telephony, mobile telephony, broadband, gas, and electricity.[3] The Utility Warehouse brand is the primary engine of revenue generation for Telecom Plus.[2]

History

The Utility Warehouse brand has been linked to Telecom Plus since 2002 when Telecom Plus launched it as a single brand to encompass all of the company's residential services. Since then, Utility Warehouse has been the operating brand for all of Telecom Plus's residential energy, telephony and broadband offerings.[4]

In 2006, Utility Warehouse and Telecom Plus entered into an agreement with npower that tasked npower with supplying energy (gas and electricity) to Utility Warehouse customers.[2] Utility Warehouse essentially sold two subsidiaries (Electricity Plus and Gas Plus) to npower. In 2013, however, npower sold the two former Telecom Plus subsidiaries back to Utility Warehouse for £218 million.[5] As a result, Utility Warehouse became one of the largest independent energy suppliers in the UK[2][5] with over 500,000 customers and 770,000 gas and electricity supply points to their name.[3] The deal also sparked commentary about the possibility of npower's parent company RWE leaving the UK, or the emergence of a "Big Seven" in place of the existing Big Six Energy Suppliers.[1][2][6]

Operation

Utility Warehouse operates as part of the Telecom Plus holding company. It employs a multi-level marketing model that utilizes independent distributors to obtain new customers. Distributors introduce both residential and business customers.[4] The Utility Warehouse headquarters is in North London.[7]

Finishing in joint fourth place in the Which? Utility customer survey,[8] Utility Warehouse is reported to have clear billing and reasonable customer service.

Because Utility Warehouse does not operate shops or engage in advertising, they rely entirely on word-of-mouth referrals from their existing customers and commission-based marketers.[4][7] Utility Warehouse supplies gas, electricity, broadband, mobile and landline telephony.[3] Their telephony and energy services are often bundled to theoretically reduce costs for customers.[5] The company sets their own tariffs and provides customer service for each of their customers.[2]

A 2009 article by The Guardian reported that Telecom Plus's rates were generally average, and as much as 20% higher than the best deals.[9]

Marketing

Utility Warehouse has no shops and does not advertise on television or in the national press. The company has focused on word-of-mouth as a primary means of promotion, and offers bonuses to distributors who recruit new customers and distributors. Distributors gain a commission from both their own customers, and their distributor's customers, making Telecom Plus a multi-level marketing company. There is a £100 joining cost to become a distributor (reduced to £50 if they become, or already are a customer).[9]

References

  1. ^ a b "Npower sells some subsidiaries to Telecom Plus for £218m". BBC. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Gosden, Emily (20 November 2013). "Utility Warehouse buys 770,000 customer accounts from npower in £218m deal". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Macalister, Terry; Jennifer Rankin (20 November 2013). "RWE npower supply sale raises fears over UK withdrawal". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Tieman, Ross (13 March 2009). "Company of the Year: Telecom Plus". Financial Times. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Chazan, Guy (20 November 2013). "Telecom Plus deal to challenge big six UK energy suppliers". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  6. ^ Gosden, Emily (20 November 2013). "Energy challenger Telecom Plus leaps to Big Six's defence". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  7. ^ a b Stafford, Philip (29 March 2009). "Telecom Plus boosted by word-of-mouth support". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  8. ^ http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/energy-companies/article/small-energy-companies/utility-warehouse
  9. ^ a b Jones, Rupert (4 December 2009). "Utility Warehouse under the spotlight". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2014.

External links

  • Official website
  • Boris Johnson and David Cameron on the Conservative campaign trail at the Utility Warehouse in Hendon.
  • Utility Warehouse customer satisfaction survey results
  • Utility Warehouse for Business
  • Utility Warehouse listed as one of the companies with the best customer service in the UK
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Utility_Warehouse&oldid=861889279"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_Warehouse
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Utility Warehouse"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA