Five of the big six energy suppliers have announced that they’ll stop doorstep selling. That’s great, but we want their last few weeks to be done by the book. But after an alert on Twitter, we’re not sure they are.
Earlier this week, Rob (@TheSocBiz) got in touch with our Which? Action Twitter account to tell us that he’d been visited by a Scottish Power rep offering him a new energy deal.
There’s no problem with that in itself – Scottish Power has announced that it’ll stop doorstep selling after 30 November, so we’re expecting their agents to still be in action.
But what Rob told us next was very puzzling:
‘[The salesperson said] something about “we’re in the area…. just checking…..” Then he says that they’ve taken over the supply of this area. I said that can’t be true. He said “that’s what I’ve been told.” Then he said “we’ve become the main generators for this area.”’
At this point alarm bells started ringing. That sounds like the sort of thing that could be in breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 – an energy salesperson should never mislead you into believing that it is the principle supplier in your area. We’ve passed this case on to Scottish Power, which it is now investigating.
A challenge to energy companies
We’re issuing a challenge for energy companies still on the doorstep – if you’ve announced you’ll stop doorstep selling, make sure that in the last few weeks of operation you’re squeaky clean. We want to know you’ll make sure anyone who does switch to your tariffs on their doorstep knows exactly what they’re getting into, and understands the deals you’re offering.
And we’re issuing a call to action to all consumers as well – if an energy salesperson knocks on your door and says any of the following things (or anything else you think is suspicious), tell us!
- ‘We’ve taken over the supply’ – no energy company “takes over” the supply for a certain area – they’re all in competition for your business.
- ‘I know you’re paying too much with your current supplier’ – they can’t know what you’re currently paying unless you’ve told them.
Should you switch energy deals?
Most of the big six have confirmed that their cheapest online tariffs aren’t actually available on the doorstep – you can find your cheapest tariff on a switching site, like Which? Switch.
So if you’re unsure about the deal you’re being offered on your doorstep, or if you think you’re being misled, take the details of the salesperson. Remember – you don’t have to switch your energy supplier, even if you feel under pressure. Do you think you’ve ever been mis-sold energy tariffs on your doorstep?