The sales practices of four of the ‘big six’ energy companies – EDF Energy, Npower, Scottish Power and Scottish & Southern Energy – are to be investigated by energy regulator Ofgem.
Face-to-face and telephone sales tactics will be examined to ensure the firms are ‘complying with new obligations to prevent the mis-selling’ of energy contracts, the regulator announced today.
Ofgem brought in new doorstep and telesales rules at the end of last year which require energy companies to be more transparent when signing people up to their services – introducing measures such as providing face-to-face customers with a quote, or in some cases giving a like-for-like comparison between a customer’s current and new tariff.
You can compare prices and tariffs for energy companies using Which? Switch, our free and impartial energy switching service.
Energy probe ‘shocking’
Ofgem says it will take ‘strong action’ against any energy company it finds to be flouting the rules.
Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith says: ‘It’s shocking that Ofgem is having to investigate mis-selling by such a large slice of the UK’s energy market. This will do nothing to improve consumer trust in energy suppliers.
‘We’re pleased that Ofgem has promised tough measures against any firms guilty of mis-selling. We hope it uses this opportunity to tighten rules around telesales so they are in line with those for face-to-face sales.’
Energy sales hotline
As part of the investigation, a hotline in conjunction with Consumer Direct has also been set up for consumers to call if they believe they have been mis-sold an energy contract.
Customers can call 08454 04 05 06 with their experiences.
You can also consult Which? Switch’s energy advice hub for everything you need to know about comparing and switching energy suppliers, deciphering tariffs and your consumer rights as an energy customer.
Lower your gas and electricity bills
You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.
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