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Compensation For Consumers Mis-Sold Energy Deals

By Katie Anderson on July 25, 2011

MPs are calling for compensation for customers who were mis-sold gas and electricity contracts on their doorsteps.

Voicing their concern that customers can be confused by the huge range of tariffs for electricity and gas – and could consequently find themselves being ripped off – members of the Energy and Climate Change select committee are calling for energy providers to pay compensation to consumers who have been mis-sold contacts.

With energy regulator Ofgem estimating that around 40% of people who switch energy tariffs do not end up getting a better deal, the committee said customers could find themselves being pressured into switching contracts by door-to-door salesmen. In worst case scenarios, consumers could even end up switching to a deal worse than their current one.

“If it turns out that consumers are being persuaded to switch contracts when it’s not in their best interests, by salespeople keen to earn commission, then it would only be right for the energy companies to cough up compensation,” said Tim Yeo, the chairman of the committee.

Mr Yeo said it was about time energy firms stopped their “Del Boy” sales tricks.

Door-to-door selling tactics have long been a contentious issue, with Scottish & Southern Energy (SSC) having recently been found guilty of two counts of mis-selling by Surrey County Council. Although the firm is appealing against the verdict, they have suspended all doorstep activity since being fined after its salesmen were found guilty of using deliberately misleading sales material.