Fury as Energy Firm Flies 100 Staff to £600-a-night Maldives Resort for 8 Days as Millions Struggle to Afford Heating

Fury as Energy Firm Flies 100 Staff to £600-a-night Maldives Resort for 8 Days as Millions Struggle to Afford Heating

While millions of Britons back home struggle with skyrocketing bills and worry about turning on the heating, an energy company has flown 100 representatives to a tropical island on an all-expenses-paid vacation.

In appreciation for bringing on new clients, Utility Warehouse representatives received an eight-day vacation in the Maldives.

One holidaymaker told The Sun: “During a crisis of the cost of living, it doesn’t feel right.”

The group of 100 reps arrived in the Indian Ocean paradise last Tuesday and wasted no time in handing out business cards in the 27C (80F) sunshine.

They were transported in a speedboat across the crystal-clear water from the capital city of Malé to the island of Ailafushi in just 15 minutes.

The group is staying at the OBLU Xperience for eight days all-inclusive, and some of the rooms there run £594 per night.

While their partners lounged on sunbeds, male reps were seen playing volleyball in the pool.

An additional fee is required to jet-ski, scuba dive, or snorkel, and upscale restaurants serve Indian, Thai, and Italian food.

One holidaymaker said: “A crisis in the cost of living makes it uncomfortable. All of them have purple wristbands on and appear to be having a blast.

“They just chill on the beach or by the pool most of the day. Additionally, a portion of the restaurant has been rented out.”

Another angry honeymooner added: “They essentially ruined our vacation. They were distributing business cards and making pitches to us.”

Campaigners and MPs criticized the celebration, which had been postponed from 2020 because of Covid.

Warren Kirwan, of disability ­charity Scope, fumed: “The disabled Brits will take a beating from this. While people with disabilities are starving and freezing to death in their own homes, they will be lying on a beach in the sunshine.

“Instead of congratulating themselves, businesses should be concentrating on helping those who are most in need. Nobody should be profiteering on the back of this crisis.”

The foundation of Utility Warehouse is word-of-mouth advertising. Each time they sign a household to a broadband, mobile, or insurance deal, its independent agents are paid a commission.

With more subscriptions, customers receive larger discounts.

Meanwhile, in exchange for signing up four new customers every month for a year, the agents, also known as partners, can be sent to exotic locations such as the Maldives and Mexico.

They can lease a Mini Cooper for a low cost if they sign up 75 customers. They can rent a Porsche Boxster for a month if they sign up for $200.

Due to consumer demand for lower prices, the business has experienced growth in recent months. Even though it boasts that its energy offer is 125 pounds less than the price cap, it is still about 1,000 pounds higher than it was a year ago.

Simon Francis, from the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, said: “While these fortunate individuals may be enjoying themselves abroad, energy customers who are struggling to make ends meet at home are not as happy.

“While their profits are being made on the backs of young families, older people, and those with disabilities ­living in cold, damp homes, we’d urge energy companies to exercise restraint with bonuses and incentives.”

Howard Cox, at FairFuelUK, added: “Utility Warehouse claims that their environmentally friendly green tariffs make it simple for us to do our part for the environment.

“Yet the company hypocritically and insensitively are happy to fly their people in a polluting jet on a free jolly to celebrate increased revenues.”

Labour MP Khalid Mahmood added: “This only demonstrates the level of greed present. When we are going through a crisis with the cost of living, we need to look into this madness. This incentive is disgraceful when it could be helping those who need it most such as the elderly.”

Tory Kevin Foster said: “Families sat in a cold home will be bemused and angered to see the firm they are with flying people to tropical climes on the back of prices paid.”

Utility Warehouse reported record sales growth of 20% in June of last year.

It now has 814,684 customers and is “targeting an additional million over the next four to five years”.

The firm also said: “Numerous customers turn to UW every week to cut costs on their bills due to the ongoing cost of living squeeze and the anticipated increase of the energy price cap by £800 in October.”

Utility Warehouse reported a 51.5 percent increase in revenue for the six-month period ending in September 2022.

British people who want to work for themselves in 2019 were encouraged by actress Joanna Lumley to join its multi-level marketing program. Two years ago Ofgem fined Utility Warehouse £1.5million for ­failing to “treat some of its customers fairly and to offer services and support to those in payment difficulty”.

At the time Utility Warehouse accepted its failings between 2013-18, which it admitted “resulted in some customers being disadvantaged and facing increased financial hardship”.

This month’s Ofgem review of energy supplier standards still found “moderate weaknesses” at Regarding how it handles customer complaints, Utility Warehouse

A spokesman for the company defended the jolly, saying: “In the UK, UW Partners number over 50,000 and come from all walks of life.

“By recommending our services to their friends and family, our partners—who are self-employed—earn money.

“In doing so, we offer a meaningful way to help people earn their way out of the cost-of-living crisis.

“In addition, we provide partners with means of obtaining additional rewards, like vacations.

“We are open and honest about the opportunities that come with having hard-working partners.”

Reference: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/21376010/fury-energy-firm-flies-100-staff-maldives-heating/

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