Disclaimer: peddling energy with cute or fuzzy mascots is my ultimate pet peeve.
I’ve had my guns levelled at EDF Energy’s stupid creature Zingy for years – if I could bring it to an untimely demise by sticking the thing in a plug socket, I would.
Sadly this darkest of endings is outside my grasp. And today, my irritation has been roused once more. By pigs. That isn’t a joke.
It’s bad enough selling energy with the help a blob – the latest energy supplier to launch, Oink Energy, is apparently being sold BY its mascots, a porcine family of four.
They have their very own customer “PiggyFesto” which promises a minimum waiting time on the phone of 30 seconds before you speak to a “named person”.
Honestly. This is not, I’m told in a press statement, a “dumbing down” of energy. It is rather “a straight-forward solution for straight-talking people”.
I beg to differ. I think they mean straight-talking pigs.
Because when I asked to talk to someone, a named person to borrow a phrase, from the new supplier, their PR team said this was not possible. The business would prefer to keep the focus on the, um, pigs. (That’s dad Peter, mum Peggy, kids Titch and Sparky. Of course.)
Two named people behind it, that I can find registered with Oink, are from Green Energy UK, perhaps looking to widen their customer base. I sent one of them a LinkedIn message last week asking for a quick interview. I got no response. That doesn’t impress me.
I see what their aim is: create energy’s answer to insurance’s meerkats. And yes, competition is great. More trotters – I mean, more offers on the table for consumers are welcome.
But my cynicism is rising. If they won’t sit down with an energy hack and have a frank and honest conversation about their plans, can they be trusted to treat customers with respect either?
Energetic pigs or not. I’m trotting off in the other direction!