Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen

Last post Mon, May 14 2007, 11:28 PM by absentfriends. 12 replies.
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  •  Mon, May 14 2007, 11:28 PM

    Re: Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen

    Your 'encouragement' thread Sue. I am in complete agreement with you and could not have put it as well myself.
    • Post Points: 5
  •  Mon, May 14 2007, 11:10 PM

    Re: Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen

    You would have my support. I didn't understand the sentence 'There are far too many big companies out there who are clearly lacking in emotional intelligence, customer awareness and customer intelligence.'

    I think I know what you are striving for but it is a very difficult wide ranging topic to condense into specific workable procedures.

    Let us know how this develops and where we might see details. 

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Mon, May 14 2007, 11:01 PM

    Re: Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen


    Thanks for those words of 'encouragement'! The amount of energy/time that goes into these complaints is ridiculous! Of course i shall let you know either way.

    This also isn't the only 'battle' i have going on, I have now set up an Action Group against AOL regarding some flashing advertising banners that have been placed in our recieved and sent email space! There are hundreds of us complaining about this!

    It has made me even more determined though to see some sort of charter drawn up that tackles all aspects of customer service in many big companies in general, from making them become more transparent and open (e.g. no more coal-face customer service!), with a specific and clear complaints sequences to follow with named people to write to or email, compensation limits available for all to see etc, clear details about tariffs etc etc. If anyone supports me on this please let me know! There are far too many big companies out there who are clearly lacking in emotional intelligence, customer awareness and customer intelligence. It isn't difficult to run a well-oiled customer service department if customers are dealt with properly first time round. For every initial call customers make, there must be another large percent of repeat calls by customers merely trying to get the level of service they require and deserve!



    • Post Points: 35
  •  Mon, May 14 2007, 10:17 PM

    Re: Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen

    Dear Sue

    I see that the company and energywatch have signed off on you and I think I am correct in saying that you have achieved a discretionary payment so far - an achievement in itself. I know from experience. You are now going to push on with all means at your disposal and will report any good news. I wish you the very best of luck. I also have a request and that is even if you consider the ultimate result disappointing would you publish it here anyway? Having said that to me I think whatever the result it will be a personal triumph for you.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Mon, May 14 2007, 9:29 PM

    Re: Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen

    Hi All,

    Many thanks for all your advice and your assistance.

    I do still maintain that i was wrongly and unethically quoted a low price purely to induce me into swapping to another supplier.

    My MP is due to write to them and i shall also go to the CAB.

    If i get any good news i'll let you know!



    • Post Points: 5
  •  Mon, May 14 2007, 8:05 PM

    Re: Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen

    At the end of the day SE are cheaper than British Gas, and probably always will be. I have seen my power bills increase by 50% over the last two years.

    To me it appears that your problems weren't caused by mis-selling, but by the company not revising your payments regularly as the price of energy soared. The majority of companies only do an annual revision. I fear that you may have found yourself in a similar situation no matter who your supplier was. 

    I know a number of pensioners who simply cannot afford their energy costs any more. 

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Mon, May 14 2007, 9:11 AM

    Re: Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen

    As my colleague, Scott, has mentioned, we have referred your complaint to S & S. They advise that they and Energywatch have dealt with this matter in a full and proper manner. In fact, the level of payment you have been offered is above what would normally be paid in these instances.

    If you are still not happy, I'm afraid I can only suggest that you appeal to Energywatch, as we are unable to take this matter further for you.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful!

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Tue, May 08 2007, 5:14 PM

    Re: Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen

    Part timer !! ......lol. ;-)
    • Post Points: 5
  •  Tue, May 08 2007, 4:38 PM

    Re: Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen


    Can you email me your name and address details asap. I'm not in for most of May and would like to ensure that SSE are looking into this sooner rather than later.

    Email: scott.byrom AT moneysupermarket.com
    • Post Points: 20
  •  Tue, May 08 2007, 1:16 PM

    Re: Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen

    Hi Sue,

    This is an appalling state of affairs resulting from the henious practice of doorstep selling.My mother was a victim of this as well but luckily in her case,I stopped the contract before it resulted in the type of problem you are now facing.You seem extremely clued up on this and some of the routes you have mentioned were ones I was not even aware of.

    Our Experience: I also used my MP who contacted the company (NPower).This at least registers your complaint in the office of the Chief Executive (really their minions!!) .It gives you more chance of a successful resolution.I used energywatch who will write to the company and ask for an explanation and should negotiate on your behalf.I would try this, but I have to be honest they were less than useless in our case.I also pestered the complaints handling team who were allocated the case.Build up a friendly but firm approach with the complaint handler and use your knowledge to let them know they are dealing with someone very clued up.

    Finally, Southern Electric are part of the same group of power companies who have formed the Energy Retail Organisation.They are self governing body who have developed a Code of Practice for doorstep selling.A copy of the code is held on their website.It prescribes the good practice to be followed and also gives certain remedies in the event of failure.Unfortunately,those remedies are largely left to the companies discretion,but I got our case classed as a Level 3 complaint which got us £250 compensation.It was a hard battle and I personally spoke to the Code Manager at length about it.His name is David Laird.I was not happy with the code and he did say he would take my suggestions on board.I would suggest you also contact him as he is an approachable person with overall responsibilty for the Code.

    To me if a contract is misold,the company should have to honour the terms as they were presented to you.You were given assurances that they would and as agents of the company ,I believe in law they should be bound by that.

    I hope Scott's intervention will also yield good results.SE have had a pretty good press here compared to other companies and they may well have picked up business because of that.I am sure Scott has pointed that out and I am sure they will be aware of the power of this forum and the resultant bad press if they do not do the right thing.

    Very best of luck.


    • Post Points: 5
  •  Tue, May 08 2007, 12:08 PM

    Re: Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen


    I have contacted someone at SSE and hope to hear back from this week.

    As soon as I have any information I will be in touch.
    • Post Points: 20
  •  Tue, May 08 2007, 2:35 AM

    Re: Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen

    While you are waiting for the experts i hope the following will be of value to you.

    Link to Vince Cable September 06 speech.


    Southern Electric has  "Special Packages For Priority Customers". If this is of value to you even if you don't qualify maybe SE would help on a goodwill basis.

    A Bill has to become an Act before it is law and this one looks as though it may be some way from enactment.

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Tue, May 08 2007, 1:04 AM

    Mis-selling of gas and electric service by door to door salesmen

    Dear 'Ask the Experts',

    I do hope that you can assist me here. I would be most grateful for a response by end of play this Tuesday (8/5) as i have an appointment with my MP to look into this first thing this Wednesday.

    Many thanks in anticipation of some impartial advice and guidance.

    Kind Regards


    Summary of events:

    In May 2005, two door to door salesmen from Southern Electric (SE) informed me that I could reduce my British Gas bills which were quite high, down to £25 gas and £20 electric per month. I said I would only agree to that if I didn't get a big adjustment bill at the end of the year. They said I wouldn't. I agreed and signed the contract.

    I was not aware of there being any problem until Sept 2006 when I received an adjustment bill from SE increasing my bills to £69 (gas) and £43 (electric). Since then I have written numerous times to SE and have been all through the process with Energywatch, who on 4th May 2007 have confirmed that they can't do any more for me. I contacted OFGEM on 4th May 2007 and they were not able to assist either.

    Points that Support my case:

    1.      In essence I am certain I was mis-sold this contract – in that I was misled by these two door to door salesmen who by giving me false statements induced me into a pecuniary agreement and told me how this would financially benefit me.

    2.      These salesmen did see copies of my British Gas Bills and did know my previous usage.

    3.      I would not have agreed that contract had I been told the truth.

    4.      I was wholly reliant on these two Salesmen’s expertise.

    5.      I believed their offer to be genuine.

    6.      This was a clear breach of the Misrepresentation Act 1967.

    7.      I have looked into the Marketing Licence Conditions 48 and I am certain that they have breached section 2 b) ii and section 4 c) and Section 6. According to the CAB, customers should be automatically compensated and the contract should not be valid, to ensure that consumers are not asked to pay for mistakes of the business.

    8.      SE have admitted that there was a problem with their door to door salesmen (verbally to me and also via press articles). These press articles go back to 2002. Incidentally I have also noted that energywatch appear to have changed the way they record levels of complaint on their website. When I last looked some time ago I saw a table where approximately 227 other consumers had experienced the mis-selling of gas and electric and were quoted lower repayment payment plans than was correct. This information no longer appears to be available in this format.

    What have Southern Electric done to date:

    SE have paid me £62 compensation for this matter but I have categorically stated that this amount is not satisfactory.

    In November 2006 my payments were increased to £46 gas and £35 electric as I understand that was the rate of my current usage. It was agreed during the discussion I had with that SE Advisor that these payments would be held at that repayment rate for about 18 months. Although I was a bit confused as the Advisor said I was actually using £42 gas and £28 electricity.  Although she also said that the amount I would be now paying was about moving forwards and didn’t include repaying past costs.  I am currently paying these sums of £46 and £35. I am experiencing financial hardship in respect of these sums.

    I was then very surprised that in April 2007 I was then asked to increase these payments to £72 gas and £62 electric per month. They did offer me various other options on these payments but in essence they add up to the same amount, which I don’t have.

    What am I prepared to do:

    I do know that energy prices did increase industry-wide and am happy to come to an agreement and pay that specific difference only.

    What I am not in a position to do:

    I am not in a financial position to pay the outstanding amount (of around £154.98 gas and £188.94 electric totalling £343.82).

    What Southern Electric want from me:

    SE want me to increase my payments to £72 and £62. A compromise would be £51 and £45 over a longer period. This is still beyond my ability to pay.

    What I want:

    I want the shortfall in monies owed to be cancelled out and then start afresh from November 2006 (when I started to pay the appropriate amount) and to receive far more adequate compensation than £62 for the fiasco and severe stress that this has caused me.

    Current state of play:

    At this precise moment I have asked SE to hold fire until 1st June 2007 whilst I try to find someone to help me resolve my case.

    My Next Steps:

    I will be seeing my MP on 9th May 2007 and may suggest he contacts another MP Dr Vince Cable who has had dealings with other ‘victims’ of Southern Electrics door to door selling techniques.

    Other avenues:

    ·        CAB

    ·        Check out if I have any redress under the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Bill (2006-7).

    ·        Failing to get the complete repayment difference quoshed then to find someone to act as a mediator to agree a satisfactory deal.

    So how can you help me?

    ·        Do I have a legal case here?

    ·        If so, I can’t afford to pay privately for a Solicitor – what other options do I have here?

    ·        Are you able to help me?

    ·        Any other advice you can give?

    ·        Finally is it worth me battling on? What can I do if I don’t have the money to pay for this shortfall (which I don’t see why I should pay)?

    Many Thanks for your help and advice


    • Post Points: 95