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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1648568 10-Oct-2016 15:06
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Yeah.. I got sick of having to buy specials etc in order to get cheaper power. Switched to Meridian and don't think it ended up being any more expensive..


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  Reply # 1648698 10-Oct-2016 18:49
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Has anyone seen the Donald Trump themed "Make power great again" banner on the powershop home page?
Can't help but chuckle at the thought of it referring to before the recent app changes.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1648742 10-Oct-2016 20:05
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Just the thread I was after. I've been having an email exchange with PowerShop about the changes, mainly the lack of being able to see what I'm purchasing. The responses haven't been particularly helpful. I got told "As you can see we have now broken down our kWh prices into variable charges & daily charges, this has made it impossible for us to add the amount of kWh in each Powerpacks." But I can't actually see the daily and variable charges anywhere. All I can see is an estimate of how many days I'm buying. If I buy a pack for a few months in advance, what use is an estimate based on my current useage? I find this change useless and frustrating.

I purchased some packs before these changes. These has a specified amount of units. I now have no way of seeing how many of these units I have available. Are these previously bought ones going to become variable?

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  Reply # 1649140 11-Oct-2016 13:16
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Today the issue with historical daily usage being averaged is gone for me.

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  Reply # 1649171 11-Oct-2016 13:51
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Hi all. Ari here, Powershop CEO. Apologies for the slow response, I've been offline for the last few days.

A bit of background to the changes to help clarify things:

 

1. We are currently rolling out the changes in batches of approximately 10,000 customers per week, so some of you will not yet have seen them. Here's an overview email we're sending to customers when they migrate (http://www.powershop.co.nz/changes/).

 

2. Over the years we have had a lot of customer feedback that our pricing is confusing and difficult to predict. The changes we are introducing are designed to improve this. Under our previous pricing we spread fixed daily costs across expected usage and turned these into a c/unit value that was added to variable costs to produce unit prices. Our special products incorporated discounts to these prices. This approach resulted in prices that were difficult for customers to understand and that sometimes changed in unpredictable ways. Our new approach is to designed make this simpler and more predictable. Now we sell packs of power in dollar denominations. Specials include dollar amount discounts (that are locked in). The terminology we have adopted is cost (how much the pack costs) and worth (the amount of power you get with the pack). The "worth" amount is calculated with respect to an underlying tariff that includes both fixed daily costs and variable costs. Customers can view this tariff information by clicking the "rates and prices" link at the bottom of the "Shop" page on the website. These rates are not currently accessible in our mobile app, but this is something we are working on.

 

3. Other than extreme low use connections (less than around 500 kWh pa, such as a shed on a separate connection), or connections which have long periods with no usage, this change is not intended to change the price customers pay. For those of you who have already been migrated, you'll be aware of our price commitment (http://pshp.co/2e1kysP).

As always, we're open to feedback and suggestions. Please feel free to post them here or email me at ari.sargent@powershop.co.nz. We're also developing some improvements that we will be testing with customers. If you would like to participate in a testing panel in Wellington forward me your details.

Ari.


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Wannabe Geek
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  Reply # 1649447 11-Oct-2016 20:24
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So are powerpacks now completely disassociated from kWhs supplied?

It almost seems like you're purchasing powerpacks that simply fund your account with their "what this pack is worth" but you have no idea what the price per kWh will be on any given day.

I've been a happy Powershop customer for over 6 years but this will make me start to look elsewhere.


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  Reply # 1649451 11-Oct-2016 20:42
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@jdanner, you are correct. Buying powerpacks is now a bit like topping up a mobile phone, but with discounts. We accept that we may have oversimplified things a little too much, so we are working on designs to bring back some of the transparency around what each powerpack gives you. Having said that, the new method does lock in discounts against our standard tariff regardless of your usage which does improve certainty around value. We would welcome your feedback on what additional information you would like to see.


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  Reply # 1649455 11-Oct-2016 20:47
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I don't think the are dis-associated from consumption, but it is stepped back a level.

 

If you know the Std rate you are charged - per KwH I assume (via a link somewhere it seems?) you can calculate the number of KwH you are buying using the full price figure then the actual price you are paying buy the "special price" of the pack.

 

It seems to me power shop is aiming to show you a $$ saved number and reducing ease of comparison to other companies - not saying they won't be cheapest, they might or might note. But it will be harder to compare to other companies IMHO.

 

I suspect it will suit those who want to easily what dollars they have saved, but put off those who are the spreadsheet analysis type.

 

 


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  Reply # 1649458 11-Oct-2016 20:52
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@KarzyKid, we are not attempting to make it harder to compare with other companies. This is already challenging for customers across retailers due to the different mix of fixed and variable charges. The simplest way to compare across retailers IMHO is to calculate your expected annual cost and compare this between companies, obviously making sure prompt payment discounts etc are taken into account, but also importantly that you include GST (a number of power companies still use GST exclusive rates in their invoices which trips a lot of people up when they make comparisons).


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  Reply # 1649459 11-Oct-2016 20:53
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Thanks @deepthought. I always thought that knowing c/unit was the easiest way to manage my account. I know how much I used historically, I know what is the cost per pack and I can decide what to buy (always bought the packs in order from cheaper to more expensive c/unit). I clicked the button to add packs and had a somewhat accurate idea of how long the packs would last.

 

My account is not migrated yet, but I can't see how this can be easier than the description above. Let's see...





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  Reply # 1649460 11-Oct-2016 20:56
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@freitasm, I'd love to hear your feedback when you have migrated. As part of the change we do also provide an estimate of how long we expect each pack to last, and your power organiser will work exactly the same way it does now. The "new" way to compare the value of packs is to look at the size of the discount - the other advantage of this approach is that it remains valid across seasons.


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  Reply # 1649474 11-Oct-2016 21:10
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@deepthought

I think the crux of the issue here is around the lack of visibility of per kWh pricing. Knowing how many dollars I've topped up into my account is pretty useless unless I know how much a kWh costs today and every day for the foreseeable future. I might buy $150 (worth $154) of power and it tells me that will last X days, but is that X days just at today's kWh price? I'm assuming you'll be varying the kWh pricing thus reducing the foresight we'll have into how much power we're actually buying, a statistic that will only now be available in hindsight?

That was the great thing about the current (old) pricing scheme - I could buy packs knowing exactly how many kWhs that would get me. Building the daily charge into the kWh charge to get c/unit made the math extremely simple and led to the embarrassment of every power company door knocker who had the misfortune of trundling up to my door with their complicated charts and calculations. Having the combined pricing was a good competitive advantage - a point of differentiation that you're losing in the new model.

 

I can't help but wonder if you're (unintentionally) burning bridges with your geek early adopters in order to pursue a larger mass market who are more placated by perceived value (20% off your normal prices!) rather than the hard c/unit numbers that show the value your product is actually delivering.


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  Reply # 1649475 11-Oct-2016 21:11
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No other company has ever written me an 8 verse poem, until they do I'm not switching.

 

I don't really care so much about the changes, I just like that it's very easy to buy power using the App.  I guess the way I use the Powershop app is probably how the large majority use it.

 

I do agree it'll take a bit to get used to when I see the switch, but it won't upset me that much.


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  Reply # 1649480 11-Oct-2016 21:20
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Thanks @jdanner. It's a good point you make about back calculating from $ to units or days. That is one of the issues we are trying to address with revised designs.


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  Reply # 1649482 11-Oct-2016 21:22
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Thanks @muppet. If another power company ever does write you an 8 verse poem please let me know and we'll write you a 9 verse poem. Hey... I might even write you one anyway when some creativity strikes me! Also, I would love to hear any feedback you have after migration.


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