In summary

  • If you've been switched by mistake, you can contact either your current or new supplier. They carry equal responsibility for rectifying the problem
  • You should receive written confirmation of the details provided within five days of first contacting the supplier, and within 20 days you should receive confirmation that you are being returned to your original supplier
  • All of the Big Six suppliers have signed up to the Energy Sure Code, which gives consumers a cooling-off period of 14 days

Switched by mistake

If you've been switched by mistake, the Erroneous Transfer Customer Charter sets out what the suppliers should do to put things right.

You can contact either your original or new energy supplier - they share equal responsibility for resolving the problem.

The energy supplier you contact should explain clearly what action they're going to take and keep you updated with progress.

You should receive written confirmation of the details within five working days of first contacting the energy supplier.

Within 20 working days you should receive confirmation that you're being returned to your original supplier.

You shouldn't have to pay any bills from the ‘new’ energy supplier. 

Energy suppliers breach of contract

If you think an energy supplier has breached this charter, contact your energy supplier in the first instance and follow its internal complaints process.

If the problem is not resolved satisfactorily, contact Consumer Direct for further advice on how to proceed.

You can also have your problem referred to the Energy Ombudsman service if the case isn't resolved after eight weeks, or you reach a 'deadlock' situation.

There's a time limit for referral to the Ombudsman Services of nine months from the date the complaint was first raised.

Cooling off period

If you've simply changed your mind, there are regulations in place to help you.

The Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work Regulations 2008 gives you seven days starting on the date you receive a notice of the right to cancel.

These regulations apply to face to face sales, and only if the contract is signed at your home, workplace or on an excursion arranged by the supplier.

Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, which cover online and phone sales, you get 14 days from the day the contract is agreed in which to cancel.

There's also the Energy Sure Code, which gives you protection for face-to-face marketing. The code is voluntary but all of the big six energy suppliers have signed up to it.

This code also requires suppliers to give consumers 14 days to cancel. This would cover sales made in supermarkets too.

In January 2010, rules were brought in under the Energy Sure Code meaning customers must get a written estimate explaining their new energy deal before they switch to a new company.

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.

If you think you might have been affected, you can apply to have your case reviewed by filling in the online compensation form on E.ON’s website or by calling 0800 0568497.

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