The Citizens Advice Bureau has issued four warning signs that you might have been mis-sold your energy contract:
■ The caller claims to be from government/other official body/current supplier when they make unsolicited contact. Calls are often very frequent – often multiple times in the same day
■ The caller may claim the switch is technical/necessary or that the consumer is not initiating a switch but just agreeing to receive more information
■ The caller is not clear about their relationship with the supplier they recommend or how much of the market they have looked through when comparing your energy costs When the consumer does see what they have agreed to, the contract details are not same as described, either in price and/or duration
■ The call was not recorded which means the alleged mis-selling is extremely hard to prove. Consumers
are reliant on supplier goodwill to leave the contract.
The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has investigated this area and believes that the lack of transparency
by energy suppliers and energy brokers could cost UK businesses as much as £500m per year.
The key culprits are energy brokers (also known as ‘third party intermediaries’ or ‘TPIs’) offer businesses deals on their energy contracts by negotiating with suppliers for reduced rates. However, due to a lack of regulation by Ofgem, many brokers actually cost businesses money by inflating the cost of the energy without disclosing this fully to their customers.
For more on care home energy, check out the September issue of Care Home Management magazine, out next week!