Age UK has defended its record for working in partnership with energy provide E.ON and other commercial organisations following allegations that it profits from offering deals that are not as competitive as some alternatives.
“There’s been a lot of coverage in the media about our longstanding commercial partnership with E.ON, and more broadly around some of our other trading activities. We feel strongly that many of the allegations made are misleading,” the charity states on its website.
Age UK asserts that it always aims to highlight the best deals, which is not always easy in a highly complex market.
For example, the Age UK 2 year fixed tariff was within £1 of the very best nationally available E.ON 1 year tariff for nearly all of 2015 with the exception of a few weeks at the beginning of the year, the organisation says.
“The Age UK Fixed 2 Year tariff offers a good deal and was the market-leading 2 year tariff when re-launched in January 2016. The Age UK Tariff also compared well with products on offer from other providers throughout the year,” the statement continues.
Age UK says that when they are contacted by customers, they are signposted to E.ON and offered a choice of all four E.ON tariffs. “Many choose the one year tariff or variable option, however many prefer the reassurance of a fixed tariff for two years,” it reveals.
On the broader issue of commercial partnerships, Age UK explains: “We have always striven to offer competitively priced, quality products and services but we never claim to be cheapest at all times. Not only do we offer great value, but just as importantly, the products are designed to be relied on by older people in an ever changing marketplace. For example, our insurance products have no cancellation fees, no upper age limits, and offer interest free instalments. What’s more, they are Which? recommended and achieve Defaqto five star ratings showing that we achieve what we set out to do.
“We are completely open that all profits from our trading activity support Age UK’s charitable activities, supporting vital work for vulnerable older people.
“To achieve this, we work with a wide range of market-leading partners and carefully design and select our products and services to ensure they are appropriate for older people and we have very high levels of customer satisfaction. Simple comparisons with other quotations are misleading and profoundly unfair in view of the difference in products and services.”