From energy to broadband and insurance, your monthly bills can quickly mount up and it can be hard to keep track of how much you are paying and where you can make savings. But what if there was someone who could remind you about those all-important renewal dates, keep an eye on the market and opportunities to save money and even help you switch? That is what BillBuddy aims to do.
What is BillBuddy?
BillBuddy* is your own personal chatbot and digital savings assistant. Its main focus is helping to save money on energy bills but it also provides comparison services for broadband and mobile phone deals, with car and home insurance on the horizon. You can set up a new energy, broadband or mobile phone deal with BillBuddy and it will constantly monitor if you can make savings. You can ask the chatbot questions such as how much you are paying and when your deal ends. You will be informed when savings can be made by switching. This saves you the time, effort and paperwork of remembering when it is time to renew and searching for the best deal.
How does BillBuddy work?
BillBuddy says it can save you money by constantly checking the market for better deals based on exit fees, your location, usage and other factors. It will send an alert when you can make a saving but there is no requirement to switch if you don’t want to.
There is no charge for users as BillBuddy gets a fee from any providers you switch to. It says it gets the same amount regardless of the provider so there is no bias. It lists British Gas, EDF and npower as well as smaller suppliers but some providers may not pay a fee for referrals so are likely to not be featured. This means while it may cover most of the market and the larger players, BillBuddy could miss the odd supplier that doesn’t pay fees or commission for introductions.
How to set up an account
Similar to a comparison website, you first need to enter your postcode to see the best deals on offer based on your location, usage, current tariff and energy needs. The results are then ranked by savings that can be made but you can filter it by features such as green energy deals, fixed or variable rates and whether you want to pay exit fees. You can also view more information about each supplier and the estimated cost each year and month.
BillBuddy will then manage the whole switch for you, from leaving your old supplier to starting with the new one. You will still need to provide meter readings to your old supplier to generate a final bill. Also, don’t forget to provide regular readings to ensure your bills are correct and you are paying as little as possible.
That’s not the end though. Once you are signed up to a new deal you will need to register and create a login. BillBuddy will then regularly inform you if savings can be made even before you come to the end of your current tariff. It will also keep you informed of how much you are currently paying and when your deal ends. You will get your own hub where you can set up access to Facebook Messenger to receive savings alerts. The hub also shows what deals are available and how much you have been saving.
How does BillBuddy make money?
Like comparison websites and some auto-switching services, BillBuddy makes money from commissions it earns when users sign up to deals through its website. This tends to include most suppliers but won’t be everyone as some small providers don’t have the scale or funds to pay for referrals.
What products does BillBuddy compare?
The first thing you will see when you arrive on the BillBuddy homepage is its promise to save you up to £461 by switching to a new energy deal. This isn’t the only product it offers though. You can also search for business energy deals as well as broadband and mobile phone offers. Its broadband search will ask you for your postcode and you can filter search results by package, cost and speed.
There is also an option to search for sim-only and handset mobile deals. It is also due to launch home and car insurance comparison soon. Eventually, this would give you one place where you can monitor your bills and spot savings instantly with little effort.
Pros and cons of BillBuddy
- Money-saving - Billbuddy claims users have saved £200 per year on average through its energy comparison. Many energy customers don’t realise how much more they end up paying when a deal expires so Billbuddy avoids users falling onto higher rates.
- Time saving - BillBuddy takes the hassle of out of finding the best energy deal. It keeps an eye on the market so you always have a chance to switch if money can be saved, especially if you are coming towards the end of a tariff.
- User-friendly - Search for products instantly by entering your postcode.
- Free - There are no charges for users to compare products.
- No app - The chatbot can only be accessed through the BillBuddy website and Facebook Messenger.
- Only recommends products that pay a fee - BillBuddy isn’t technically whole of market as some suppliers and providers don’t pay commissions, although most of the best-known ones do so should be featured.
- Risk of choosing solely on price - Price is important but many users are increasingly worried about customer service. There is no point having a cheap rate but poor customer service if issues arise. Some comparison websites feature customer ratings which shows how helpful and responsive suppliers can be but this isn’t available in BillBuddy’s results.
BillBuddy customer reviews
BillBuddy* has a rating of 4.7 out of 5.0 stars on Trustpilot based on over 600 reviews. This gives it a rating of excellent. The majority, 89%, ranked the tool as excellent, citing its services and savings made. Less than 4% rate it as poor or bad. Issues raised include the customer service of providers that are recommended and specific glitches that customers have suffered such as postcodes not being recognised or switches failing. It also has a rating of 4.90 out of 5.0 on Reviews.co.uk based on feedback from over 700 customers.
Alternatives to BillBuddy
BillBuddy vs Look After My Bills
You may recognise the brand Look After My Bills from BBC show Dragons’ Den where it received financial backing in 2018 and it has since been sold to comparison website GoCompare. Similar to BillBuddy, it is free to use and earns money from commissions when people switch.
Once signed up, Look After My Bills monitors the energy market to save money for users. A switch will only be made if no exit fees are involved and there is saving of at least £50 but it is different to BillBuddy as this is done automatically based on a supplier it chooses rather than asking if you want to proceed. Look After My Bills is also limited to energy currently compared with BillBuddy which also offers broadband comparison. Read our 'Look After My Bills review'.
BillBuddy vs Switchd
Switchd offers a free service that only recommends suppliers for electricity or dual fuel deals that pay it a commission. Alternatively, there is a whole of market service starting at £1.99 per month and going up to £4.99 if you want the support of a 'dedicated' agent. Customers can set their own minimum saving that they want to achieve. A switch is made automatically, unlike with BillBuddy. Read our Switchd review
BillBuddy vs Flipper
Flipper offers a whole of market service but users pay a membership fee of £30 a year – charged after you have made your first switch. Flipper asks for a copy of your bill to clarify your tariff and savings and will do future switches automatically once a minimum saving of £50 a year is identified. Read our Flipper review.
Monitoring your bills can be time-consuming and pretty dull so having a chatbot on hand is useful. BillBuddy* offers a comprehensive range of products from most suppliers. It still requires some effort on your part though as you need to be disciplined enough to check your messages and also do your research on the company it is recommending before accepting the switch. You want to ensure you will actually have a good customer service experience, even if you are paying less.
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