British Gas have agreed to Consumer Focus’ request for an immediate three-month moratorium on energy cold-calling. The consumer champions say that all of the Big Six must join them and SSE to explore alternatives.
According to Consumer Focus cold call doorstep sales have led to hundreds of thousands of people paying more for their energy after switching to a worse deal for over a decade.
Adam Scorer, Director of External Affairs at Consumer Focus, said: “Unless other energy firms realise the end of the road has been reached on cold call doorstep sales, mis-selling will continue to drive consumer mistrust even deeper.
EDF and Scottish Power have so far refused to end cold call doorstep sales and E.ON and npower have yet to commit to a moratorium.
Consumer Focus is urging Ofgem to legally require suppliers to take action on doorstep sales and include such measures:
-An end to cold-call doorstep sales in the home by energy suppliers. Sales should only be made by pre-booked appointments and no sales should be allowed during smart meter installation.
-Customers should be clearly signposted to independent advice by suppliers ahead of any home sales visit and given details in any information left at the sale.
Consumer Focus research shows that only 3% of customers have a positive view of doorstep sales, down from 9% in 2009, and 50% of those who sign up on the door for a product or service, and then changed their mind, signed up because they felt pressurised.