Today, TXU announced its new Refer-a-Friend Program. Current TXU customers can log into their account and refer people to TXU through email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. The referrals have a specific code linking any referral to the existing customer.
Each person referred gets a $50 prepaid card, and so does the TXU customer who referred them. There is no limit to how many people you can refer or how many reward cards you can get. “There’s nothing more powerful than a friend recommending a company’s service,” said Michael Grasso, chief marketing officer for TXU Energy. But this raises the question, if it’s so powerful then why hasn’t TXU done this program until now?
Let’s compare TXU’s (who’s parent company, Energy Future Holdings, has been in danger of bankruptcy for a long time) brand-new Refer-a-Friend Program to Ambit Energy’s Free Energy Program, which has been running for several years, to see which is the smarter way to go. Let’s look at how Ambit’s program works:
>Refer 15 customers to switch to Ambit Energy service.
>Receive a credit on the energy supply portion of your bill equal to the average of your customers’ daily usage.
>This credit applies every month as long as you maintain a minimum of 15 customers.
This free energy credit will either appear on your bill, or Ambit will mail you a check. This option is available to any customer in the states that Ambit offers service in, including Texas. But even Texas customers can refer people in other states to Ambit and still count as a referral in the Free Energy Program. Many customers are saving up to a few hundred dollars every month, as long as they maintain 15 customers.
Let’s look at a scenario to compare the programs. Let’s say you refer 15 friends to TXU’s and you earn 15 $50 prepaid cards. That is a total of $750. Not a bad chunk of cash. But the problem is, once you refer those 15 people to TXU, the money stops. With Ambit’s Free Energy Program, you get that credit every month for as long as you maintain 15 referrals. So let’s use a very modest savings of $125 per month using Ambit’s program. It would take just six months to total a savings of $750. But those savings would continue month after month after month. In just one year, that would equal a savings of $1,500.
What could you do with an extra $1,500 per year? Take a vacation? Put an extra payment toward the principle of your home loan? Pay for your kid’s preschool? So, which would you rather have? A one-time prepaid card for $50 or a significant tax-free credit each and every month?