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Energy supplier fined £1.25m for misleading sales

Which? gives advice to affected customers

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) was fined today in Guildford County Court for mis-selling energy tariffs to hundreds of customers.

SSE was found guilty of  ‘engaging in two counts of a misleading commercial practice’ in May 2011, and lost an appeal against the decision in March this year.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said: ‘It’s right that SSE has been punished for this bad practice, but this fine will not help all those customers who may have been signed up with their misleading script.’

He added: ‘SSE should waste no time in contacting all those customers who were affected, and compensate them for any financial loss they may have suffered.’

SSE and Trading Standards

The case against SSE is the first of its kind against one of the major suppliers.

It was found that their salespeople had been using a script that told customers they were paying too much to their current supplier, when in fact they had no such information.

Steve Playle, Surrey County Council Trading Standards investigations and enforcement manager, said: ‘This was a real David versus Goliath battle which resulted in a victory for consumers everywhere. It should send a message to the energy industry that deceptive, misleading and illegal sales tactics are not acceptable.’

SSE has said that it will not attempt to challenge the level of the fine, but will pay it in full. 

What if I’ve been misled?

If you believe that you have been mis-sold by SSE, Which? advises that you contact them straight away. If you have been mis-sold, you are entitled to compensation from the company to make up for the financial detriment that you may have suffered as a result of the sale.  

If you have concerns about another energy company, or need help with making a complaint, follow our guide on complaining about energy price rises.

More on this…

  • Head over to Which? Conversation to join the debate on doorstep sales
  • Know your rights? Visit the Which? home of free consumer rights advice
  • Join Which? in campaigning for more affordable energy for everyone

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