Based on TXU’s parent company report from Energy Future Holdings the energy division known as TXU Energy lost 8 percent of their customers during 2011. I have to assume the reason TXU is losing so many customers has to do with how competitive the retail electricity markets have been in 2011.
There are many retail electric companies that actively send people on the street knocking on doors at homes and businesses offering incentives to sign up with their electric company.
TXU Energy and Reliant Energy feet on the street crews have been seen in each others backyards offering offers to switch away from the other service to theirs but even still when 10 other providers are doing the same thing and offering even cheaper prices it is hard for customers to stay loyal to such an old trusted brand name like TXU Energy.
I look back at some of the ad campaigns I have seen from TXU and I must admit they seem smart such as when they tried to differentiate themselves as the company with only fixed rates that do not change.
I remember seeing ads that made it clear that a customer can find price predictability and assurance that their rate won’t change when on TXU. The safety of a locked in secure rate that will not fluctuate sounds great to me and a good way to set yourself a part from the competition but it seems to have not had the desired effect.
An 8 percent drop in customers is significant for a company like TXU that has over 1 million retail electricity customers.
Even with a loyalty rewards program that offers customers prepaid VISA gift cards ranging from $50 – $150 customers still were leaving TXU.
The assumption is that when the economy gets hard people start to look at the bottom line numbers and the simple quick solutions.
Customers may not make the most rational decisions in a quick fix and so rather than wait for a year to get a customer rewards VISA card many want that immediate cheap bill.
With so many competing electric companies offering an immediate lower electric rate compared to TXU many customers simply choose to compare and switch away at whatever rate they deem to be the cheapest.
The negative to the customer is that if they pick a short term variable rate with a different electric company they compare against TXU it will likely go up on them even higher than what they paid with TXU.
The reason the price increases is because a variable price is usually only locked in for 1 month and than goes up.
If customers do decide to switch away from TXU it is important that they compare their fixed TXU rate with other fixed rates provided by competing electric companies.
By comparing fixed rates with fixed you will end up saving money over TXU and will not end up on a quick savings offer that saves you money for only 1 month.