If you're visited by one of our people, and feel something wasn't right, please get in touch and let us know.
16th October 2020
Not leaving anyone behind
Aliya Khan, In-Person Energy Conversations
Update in light of COVID-19: After a few months’ hiatus during lockdown, our sales representatives are working extremely cautiously with extra measures to keep our team and potential customers safe.
Skip to read our full COVID-19 update, which details all extra equipment, training and quality assurances in place to make sure we're working safely. Click for the most up-to-date information on what's changed as a result of the Covid-alert Tier system.
Let’s be honest. There is a stigma surrounding door-to-door sales (or ‘field sales’) and telephone sales. As a company working in the energy sector – typically one of the most untrusted industries by consumers – we're used to fighting low expectations. We're constantly working to rebuild trust by putting people at the heart of what we do.
There's real power in human conversations as a way to spread the word about important things like renewable power. So we're proud to have teams of experts knocking doors and making calls to help more people switch to fairly-priced green energy with award-winning, honest customer service. We wanted to take a little time to talk about this part of our business, and how we're making sure it's done right.
Of course we know this isn't for everyone. So we've made it super easy to request that we don't contact you over the phone or knock on your door.
We're focused on making energy cheaper, greener, and better, for everyone.
And to do it, we have to communicate with people on their terms.
So we try to be available to people through as many different avenues as possible. Not only do we use digital advertising, billboards, TV ads and more, we also have hundreds of friendly energy experts around the country who knock doors and chat on the phone to spread the word about Octopus.
For many people, this is a great way to learn about something they hadn't considered before, without having to do hours of painstaking research.
So far, our sales representatives have helped hundreds of thousands of people get a fairer price, better service, and greener power.
How we work
Our teams travel the country and walk from one place to another or call a carefully selected list of people who've indicated in the past that they'd be OK with a company like us contacting them. From there, our representatives engage people in conversation about the world of green energy, some of the rip-off tactics in the market they might not be aware of – as well as who we are and the benefits of joining us.
We know approaching people unprompted doesn't work for everyone – that's why all our team are trained to be polite educators, not pushy salespeople.
We've found that having real-life conversations works better for those who've never thought about reviewing their energy (most of whom are still on those expensive default tariffs with the Big Six). Many of these customers may not realise they could be getting a cheaper deal. In fact, the government's CMA found that "digital switching" was great for well-off households, but low income households were more likely to get left on expensive tariffs from legacy suppliers – and 40% of the people who join us on the doorsteps had never switched.
There's a big difference between comparing the market online and having one of our Energy Specialists explain it all in person. Online research takes time, effort, and many are put off or have better things to do.
We can give you a full appraisal of your energy without the hassle of trawling through pages of tariffs that prioritise temporary savings over loyalty, customer service, and long term value. And if we can save you money and you like what we do, then we can sign you up in moments.
All our Energy Specialists are experts. And like everyone at Octopus, they're trained to take ownership of their work and hold themselves accountable for doing everything the Octopus Energy way: imparting accurate information whilst providing great customer experience.
Before they're considered 'experts' and allowed to start knocking doors on our behalf, our agents all complete a comprehensive training course, energy exam, and month-long training academy. They're CRB checked, wear Octopus Energy clothing, and are tracked using GPS. We also record the conversations (with permission) so we can ensure you're getting the best from our people.
Meet our team
Our Octopus sales representatives are based all over the country. Our field team have snazzy Octopus uniforms and wear a visible name tag. Not only do they do a fantastic job engaging people in conversations about switching – they love doing it too. Our team are brilliant, passionate experts who are in the job to spread the word of green energy.
(These images of our team were taken before the pandemic – skip to read about our new safety equipment and training.)
Hear from some happy customers who’ve switched after speaking to our sales team
Lucy, Bishop Auckland
I would like to give some very positive feedback for one of your sales rep today called Ryan. This was in Bishop Auckland. He was very polite and helpful and you should be so pleased you have an asset like this that works for you as you don't find many like him around.
Romello is absolutely fantastic. He knocked on my door this afternoon to inform me about Octopus Energy and the savings I could make if I switched my gas and electricity supplier to you. He was very charismatic and made everything easy for me to understand. He was extremely friendly, showed that he cared about me and my financial situation, he was open and honest, and completely sincere.
We have just switched from British Gas to Octopus Energy and I wanted to pass on some feedback from your Sales Representative. Alex was very professional, no hard sale or pressure to switch. He walked us through the information in a clear and concise way. As a result of Alex’s service, we decided to switch and look forward to being a customer for an eco friendly energy supplier. A big shout out to Alex - he’s a credit to your organisation.
I had one of your salesmen around not too long ago. Very lovely chap. Well mannered, very professional – he even helped me and my wife bring our shopping home. Even though I didn’t switch I just think this young man deserves some recognition. And because of him when my current tariff ends I will definitely be going to your company.
Simon, Bognor Regis
I just wanted to convey how polite and helpful Alina has been. She has phoned me several times about reviewing my energy bill and I have been a little lazy in giving a response. Anyway today as a consequence of her gentle tenacity I eventually got around to finding my bill and properly reviewing my options as I remember she said she would call me back again today.
I want you to know that her effort is what brought you my business and I have indeed now e-mailed a lot of my friends and posted on Facebook etc Anyway the message is getting out there and the seed was Alina.
I just want you to know that my sign up plus all the cascading sign-ups you get as I enthuse to my friends will be as a result of Alina’s effort as I would never have looked at or discovered you at all had it not been for her and her polite manner, indeed even the comparison sites would have taken me elsewhere if I had not already had you in mind.
And finally, a long one that's truly worth the read. A heartwarming tale about our sales rep Eden and a hard-of-hearing Pitbull named Nola...
I highly recommend Eden from Octopus Energy. He came to my house on Monday night just as I was taking my dog out for a walk. Nola is a white Staffy/Pitbull who is totally deaf. Most people, when I tell them that she is deaf, completely ignore her as they assume she cannot communicate. At the door Eden asked me how I explain to her what I need her to do and I told him that we use sign language.
Eden came into the house and spent over 30 minutes with Nola learning her signs. He learned her name, 'Good Girl' and 'walkies'.
On a daily basis I watch Nola walk up to people and look at them expectantly waiting for them to sign to her, when they don't, she walks away dejected. Nola fell so in love with Eden she climbed on his knee and fell asleep. I don't think Eden understood just how much that small gesture meant to myself and Nola. Her world is totally silent and I try to fill that with as many sensory experiences as I can, but it is still just me. So when Eden took the time to communicate with her she was elated. When he signed her name she looked at me as if to say 'that's my name!!' and she started doing the excited 'pitbull stamp'.
Eden took the time to ask me questions about Nola and her life and how she copes with being deaf, and she also got white dog hair on his immaculate suit, and he didn't mind at all. He didn't flinch when she nuzzled his shoulder, where most people push her away as she is a 'dangerous dog'. I wish more people were like Eden and could understand that this sweet girl can communicate, she just does it differently. Eden is a credit to this company, to his parents and family and to himself. Oh and it was cheaper to switch too!!
Can't recommend enough.
If you’d prefer not to hear from our sales team again…
If you’d prefer not to hear from us again…
No worries. Just get in touch to let us know, OR fill in this form and we will ensure your address or phone number aren’t contacted again (plus, we’ll email you to confirm when your details have been removed from our contact lists).
If you'd prefer not to hear from ANY sales people over the phone or at your doorstep...
- Make sure you register for the Telephone Protection Service (TPS) to make sure no companies are allowed to sell to you over the phone.
- Get yourself a 'no cold callers' sign for your front door – sales representatives are never allowed to knock if one of these signs are visible.
If you’ve had a bad experience with us...
Please contact us and let us know. We provide constant feedback and training for our team based on what we hear from customers. Feedback is almost always fantastic, because we hire great people and really trust our team – but if anything isn’t up to scratch, we’ll always look into it.
We also record these conversations (with permission) so we can ensure you're getting the best from our people, so we'll be able to investigate what happened fully.
An independent switching company recommended I join Octopus. How do these companies work?
There are a number of independent 'switching' organisations out there that recommend many different energy suppliers. These switching companies work like most online comparison sites (like uSwitch and MoneySuperMarket). They compare all the options, and use their expertise to highlight the best offers with people.
That means that though they’re completely separate from Octopus, from time to time, they’ll recommend a deal of ours to potential customers on the doorstep or over the phone.
If you’d prefer to not hear from them either, get in touch to let us know, OR fill in this form and we will ensure your address or phone number aren’t contacted again.
Update in light of COVID-19:
After a few months’ hiatus during lockdown, our sales representatives are now working extremely cautiously with extra measures to keep our team and potential customers safe.
Octopus Energy salespeople stopped all in-person sales conversations when lockdown began. We've worked with our partners to make sure this whole team were stood down on full pay until they could get back to work with new protections (now is not the time to be putting more people into unemployment queues).
In line with new government guidance as restrictions eased and the country was urged to go back to work, we got some of our experts back in action, delivering leaflets talking about our green energy in full PPE. This went well, so we've made the decision to carefully get back to knocking doors, along with some of the other modern energy companies. Indeed, our decision came after others briefed government ministers on the measures they'd taken in restarting in-person switching.
Some people have asked if this is an appropriate time to be doing this. We consider this no less important a time to talk about cheaper, greener energy than any other. And in fact – it's never been more crucial to have an energy supply you can rely on, with customer service you can trust and reasonable prices so you don't get landed with higher bills.
The government's CMA found that "digital switching" was great for well-off households, but low income households were more likely to get left on expensive tariffs from legacy suppliers – and 40% of the people who join us on the doorsteps had never switched.
Thanks to our tech and our brilliant team, we've been the only energy supplier answering the phone as normal throughout the pandemic. While many other suppliers have had to reduce services and contact methods with call centres shut, our entire operation were working from home, taking as many calls (to the same high standard) as usual. And of course, we're still here answering emails, and Facebook and Twitter DMs, day and night. In fact, our customer satisfaction has even gone up slightly! We think it's pretty important to make sure people stuck on rip-off deals know there are better options out there – now more than ever.
As always, if you'd prefer we didn't knock, please fill out this form and we'll not drop by.
Where are we working?
Following the government introduction of the Three Tier Covid alert system, we're updating our plan of action (with some exceptions to respect local restrictions)...
Tier 1 (Medium risk):
We'll continue work, ensuring all the safety measures below are covered. We are only working outdoors, with mandatory PPE (face masks or shields) at all times, regular sanitising, two metres' social distancing at all times, and daily temperature checks for all our representatives.
Tier 2 (High risk):
At this level, home visitors are allowed as long as they're always outside, and follow the rule of six. With this in mind, we'll continue work, ensuring all the safety measures below are covered. We are only working outdoors, with mandatory PPE (face masks or shields) at all times, regular sanitising, two metres' social distancing at all times, and daily temperature checks for all our representatives.
Tier 3 (Very high risk):
We've pulled all teams from these areas until further notice.
To protect our staff, and potential customers, our teams are working with new safety measures and training.
- Every working representative will be temperature checked daily to ensure they're within a safe range.
- Our team are only working outside (i.e. never stepping inside a customer's home, even if invited to)
- Our representatives wear either a face shield or face mask at all times, no matter what (whilst there are no government requirements to do so while working outside)
- Our team have been provided with sanitiser for both their tablets and their hands, and instructed to use it regularly between conversations.
- They'll always keep a strict 2 metres' social distance.
- Customers are no longer required to touch their devices with a signature, and we'll ask customers to confirm bank details verbally rather than requesting they type them in.
- All telesales offices were also closed throughout lockdown in line with government advice. Teams have now resumed work – some working from home, and others back in the office (with added safety measures) to resume phone conversations with potential customers.
COVID-19 safety training for our team...
Before representatives are allowed to return to work, they must complete our remote testing module ‘Return to Field Covid-19 Training’.
This new training details all mandated government guidelines across England, Scotland and Wales, as well as other Octopus requirements. This includes the strict maintenance of 2 metre social distancing, never entering a customer's home (even if they've requested it), and the wearing of required PPE (face coverings and regular hand sanitising). The training also covers new ways of ensuring these new measures are being kept to – including customers confirming for our records that representatives were in full in PPE and worked in line with COVID-19 guidelines.
Our whole team who'll be in contact with the public are being tested on this new information about our Covid-safe practices, and can only return to work if they pass the module with a score of 100%. If they don't pass, they'll go through re-training and re-testing. The team will also have monthly refresher trainings as and when the guidance changes.
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