How to complain if you've been misled about switching
The path to switching your energy supplier isn't always rosy. If you feel you've been misled, follow our advice to get a resolution.
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Which? Switch gives you a transparent and impartial way to compare energy tariffs and find the best gas and electricity provider for your needs.
1 Misled by your supplier
In a number of previous investigations, Which? discovered that some energy companies omitted key information when selling tariffs over the phone.
We also found that some companies made their tariffs appear more attractive to encourage customers to switch.
In the rush to sign up new customers, there have even been some cases of energy companies using increasingly underhand tactics – such as staff forging customers’ signatures on energy contracts.
But there are rules that energy salespeople must follow.
2 Cooling off period
If you sign a contract made during a sales visit to your home, place of work or during an excursion arranged by the company, under the Doorstep Selling Regulations you're entitled to a seven-day cooling off period during which you can cancel any contract.
Any credit agreement you took out to pay for goods or services at the same time would also automatically come to an end when you cancel.
Whether you have a written contract or not, the salesperson must tell you, in writing, about your cancellation rights.
3 Compensation from your supplier
In some cases you could be entitled to compensation from your energy supplier.
If an energy salesperson has forged a signature on your contract, you're entitled to £250 compensation.
A full copy of the switching code of conduct that energy companies must follow is available on the Ofgem website.
All energy sales agents must be accredited by this code and can be dismissed or even ‘struck off’ as a member if they breach it.
If you think a sales agent has broken the code of practice, contact your energy supplier and tell them why.
4 E.ON Sales Compensation Fund
As a result of a recent Ofgem investigation into a breach of E.ON’s licence conditions, the company has reviewed the way it sold energy deals between June 2010 and December 2013.
E.ON has said it is concerned that it might have given some customers the wrong information when they chose to switch and have apologised for getting this wrong.
E.ON will be contacting customers who it believes could have been given the wrong information.
It will then review each case and, if you've been left worse off, E.ON will offer you compensation to say sorry for any financial loss.
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The energy market is broken, with millions of people paying more than they should. We’re urging the competition inquiry to reduce the number of people on poor value tariffs, make it easier to switch and penalise suppliers who fail to protect the most vulnerable. The CMA will be judged on the legacy of this inquiry - if it doesn’t deliver a fairer energy market for consumers, it will have failed.