In 2015 the Authority introduced a switch save protection scheme (the scheme). The scheme prohibited a losing retailer from initiating contact to offer inducements to any of its customers that are acquired by another retailer (if the gaining retailer had chosen save-protection) until the switch was complete. The purpose of a post-implementation review is to evaluate an initiative against its expected outcomes. From the Authority’s perspective, this enables learning about how regulatory decisions–or decisions not to regulate–are affecting the sector and whether further policy action is required.

Our post-implementation review found:

  1. evidence the number of saves fell and the number of win-backs increased as a result of the scheme
  2. evidence the scheme increased switching speed for both save-protected and non-save-protected retailers
  3. evidence the scheme slightly reduced the average time a switch survives before being withdrawn
  4. evidence the scheme did not cause save-protected switches to survive longer on average before being withdrawn, but may merely delay switch reversal
  5. no evidence the scheme improved or harmed retail competition
  6. indications from survey respondents that the cost to acquire customers has increased since we introduced the scheme; however this may be partly attributable to competitive pressures in the market which have increased due to factors other than the save protection scheme.

There is a project on the Authority’s 2017/18 work programme to consider whether changes to the Code are required in response to the post-implementation review of the ‘saves’ Code provisions.