British Gas may stop doorstep sellingWhich? urges others to reconsider sales tactics

21 June 2011

Gas hob

Energy firm British Gas has said it may stop selling its products and services door-to-door, but Which? is asking all energy companies to consider the impact of other sales techniques.

In an interview today Phil Bentley, managing director of British Gas, said that British Gas was considering cutting all door-to-door sales. He added that frequent scandals, such as the mis-selling of tariffs by SSE, have given the energy industry a bad reputation.

Consumers are generally wary of doorstep sales - when the topic was raised on Which? Conversation, the great majority of readers voted that they'd rather door-to-door salespeople didn't come to their houses at all.

Stop pressure selling

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? says 'It's good news that one of the Big Six is listening to consumers. As British Gas and other suppliers consider their policies on doorstep selling, it's important that they don't overlook other forms of cold calling.'

Which? research shows that 44% of people have been phoned by an energy company in the past 12 months, and six in ten felt pressured to switch.

'Suppliers should be focusing on better value products and customer service, rather than hard-selling at every opportunity.'

Doorstep sales damage reputation

British Gas managing director Phil Bentley says that the move is mainly a means for British Gas to distance themselves from the mis-selling scandals that have affected other energy companies.

'We have said to Ofgem it must tighten rules on doorstep selling. If it doesn't get its act together we may even stop it because of the reputation impact of mis-selling.'

Do you think this move will encourage energy companies to reconsider other sales tactics? Join in the debate on Which? Conversation

Which? Energy campaigns

Which? campaigns to make people's lives fairer, simpler and safer. We're currently working on energy issues such as the Green Deal, confusing energy tariffs, and smart meters. To find out more about our campaigns, follow WhichAction on Twitter or facebook