|Parent||Telecom Plus PLC|
Utility Warehouse is a multi-utility provider based in London, England. It is a brand name of its parent company, Telecom Plus. It currently handles over 600,000 customer accounts with the help of over 40,000 independent distributors. Utility Warehouse supplies customers with landline telephony, mobile telephony, broadband, gas, and electricity. The Utility Warehouse brand is the primary engine of revenue generation for Telecom Plus.
The Utility Warehouse brand has been linked to Telecom Plus since 2002 when Telecom Plus launched it as a single brand to encompass all of the company's residential services. Since then, Utility Warehouse has been the operating brand for all of Telecom Plus's residential energy, telephony and broadband offerings.
In 2006, Utility Warehouse and Telecom Plus entered into an agreement with npower that tasked npower with supplying energy (gas and electricity) to Utility Warehouse customers. Utility Warehouse essentially sold two subsidiaries (Electricity Plus and Gas Plus) to npower.
In 2013, however, npower sold the two former Telecom Plus subsidiaries back to Utility Warehouse for £218 million. As a result, Utility Warehouse became one of the largest independent energy suppliers in the UK with over 500,000 customers and 770,000 gas and electricity supply points to their name.
Utility Warehouse operates as part of the Telecom Plus holding company. It employs a multi-level marketing model that utilizes independent distributors to obtain new customers. Distributors introduce both residential and business customers. The Utility Warehouse headquarters is in North London.
In 2018, the company came seventh out of thirty companies in the Which? energy customer survey, with high scores for online customer service and value for money; earlier that year it received the Which? Utilities Brand of the Year award.
Utility Warehouse has no shops and does not advertise on television or in the national press. The company has focused on word-of-mouth as a primary means of promotion, and offers bonuses to distributors who recruit new customers and distributors.
Distributors gain a commission from both their own customers, and their distributor's customers, making Telecom Plus a multi-level marketing company. In 2017, Utility Warehouse announced their Quick Income Plan (QUIP) scheme, which allows distributors to earn lump sums based on the size of their customer base.
There is a £100 joining cost to become a distributor (reduced to £50 if they become, or already are a customer).
A 2017 Guardian investigation found that the average amount a distributor would make would be less than £10 a week.
- "Npower sells some subsidiaries to Telecom Plus for £218m". BBC. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Gosden, Emily (20 November 2013). "Utility Warehouse buys 770,000 customer accounts from npower in £218m deal". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Macalister, Terry; Jennifer Rankin (20 November 2013). "RWE npower supply sale raises fears over UK withdrawal". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Tieman, Ross (13 March 2009). "Company of the Year: Telecom Plus". Financial Times. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Chazan, Guy (20 November 2013). "Telecom Plus deal to challenge big six UK energy suppliers". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- Gosden, Emily (20 November 2013). "Energy challenger Telecom Plus leaps to Big Six's defence". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Stafford, Philip (29 March 2009). "Telecom Plus boosted by word-of-mouth support". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "Utility Warehouse Review". Which?. Retrieved 2019-05-26.
- Jones, Rupert (4 December 2009). "Utility Warehouse under the spotlight". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- Ritchie, Stuart. "Utility Warehouse Franchise: How It Works". The Stuart Ritchie.
- Jones, Rupert (2017-07-08). "Get rich quick? Not with Utility Warehouse". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-11-18.