Scottish and Southern Energy’s suspension of door-to-door energy selling has been hailed as a good example for other energy providers to follow. However, energy companies have been warned not to switch to other types of cold calling.
Consumer watchdogs have been vocal in their critique of cold calling, saying it pressures people into switching to tariffs that might not be cheaper.
Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus said: ‘Cold-call doorstep sales have been a continuous problem since the competitive energy market was introduced. Suppliers have an appalling track record on mis-selling and have failed to offer their best deals face-to-face, leaving a huge number of customers switching to a worse deal.
“We welcome the announcement by SSE and hope that it will encourage other energy suppliers to end cold-calling sales on the doorstep which can pressurise consumers into making poor decisions.”
Other consumer groups agreed that customer trust needed to be regained.
Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which? said: “Very few people think energy suppliers are trustworthy, so it’s goodnews that SSE is listening to consumers and trying to restore its reputation.”
He warned that other forms of selling should not now replace doorstop selling with other forms of cold calling: “We found that almost half (44%) of people have been phoned by an energy company in the past 12 months, and six in ten felt pressured to switch, so suppliers should be focusing on better value products and customer service, rather than hard-selling.”