3rd April 2013
Comparison site U-switch has welcomed the energy regulator’s decision to fine SSE £10.5m for its sales practices saying it is a much needed step to restore trust in the energy market. The fine, reported on the BBC relates to SSE breaching its obligations relating to telephone, in-store and doorstep sales activities. U-switch says it represents a significant step in cleaning up the energy market.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “Confidence in the energy market is at an all-time low. Customers have lost faith and have no confidence in how to make the market work for them. They have a right to expect fair dealings, but at the moment, when it comes to energy suppliers it seems to be a case of ‘better the devil you know’ – at a time when customers can ill afford to stay put with the same supplier.
“In order to make a fully informed decision about whether to switch suppliers, customers should do a whole market comparison based on objective and accurate information, using a fully accredited price comparison service.
“SSE customers should have been contacted to see if they qualify for a reimbursement. However, if they haven’t yet been written to and feel they are out of pocket, they should contact SSE for compensation – the supplier has set aside £5 million to repay them.
“Until this trust is restored, we won’t get the market moving and if we don’t have a fully competitive market, consumers will lose out. This fine should send a clear message to energy suppliers that they must treat customers fairly.”