Tuesday 28 April 2020

Be careful when switching energy supplier

It has come to our attention that some residents within the Triangle are having their energy suppliers - Gas, Telephone, Electric etc - switched without their consent. One particular resident is continually having these problems and this matter has now been referred to the police as it is believed to be a malicious act by causing continuous inconvenience.

However, most cases are in error; perhaps a new resident gave incorrect address details. Please do be careful when switching energy suppliers that you do give correct information. Otherwise it can take hours of unnecessary calls to energy suppliers to rectify the procedure. Also vulnerable and elderly occuplants can become very confused when energy supplies are switched without their consent. 

Here is what you should do if you receive an unexpected final bill or welcome letter from a new energy supplier. 

Why is this happening?

This could happen if:
  • a supplier made a mistake, for example by confusing your address with someone else’s
  • The wrong address was given to the energy supplier by a new resident moving into the area
  • you were misled by a salesperson
Contact the supplier
You’ll need to contact both your old supplier and the new one. Let them know that you didn’t agree to the switch, and ask them to cancel it if it’s still in progress. If the switch has already happened, ask them to reverse it.

Make a note of the date and time you call, and who you spoke to. You might need to refer to this later if you need to complain.

What happens next
Once you’ve contacted the supplier, they should write to you within:
  • 5 working days to explain what they plan to do, and when
  • 20 working days to confirm they’re reversing the switch or explain why it was correct
These deadlines are part of the ‘erroneous transfer customer charter’, which all suppliers need to follow. You'll be entitled to £30 compensation if:
  • the supplier takes more than 20 working days to reply 
  • your old and new suppliers take more than 20 working days to agree whether your switch was correct (they both owe you £30 if this happens)
  • your old supplier takes more than 21 working days to re-register you once they know about the mistake
If you’re entitled to compensation the supplier should pay you within 10 working days, otherwise they’ll owe you an extra £30 in compensation. If they haven’t paid, you should make a complaint and ask for the money you think they owe.

When you’re switched back you’ll still get bills from your original supplier, and won’t have to pay anything to the other supplier.

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