Suppliers don’t care about us say small firms in poll

Four fifths (81%) of small firms think energy suppliers don’t care about their needs, according to a new poll by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The results suggest businesses […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Four fifths (81%) of small firms think energy suppliers don’t care about their needs, according to a new poll by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The results suggest businesses are sceptical of energy providers’ fairness in energy contracts.

The survey of more than 1,400 FSB members comes after Big Six suppliers pledged to essentially scrap the controversial practice of auto-rollovers.

This is when suppliers put firms onto a new, often more expensive, tariff when their contract runs out.

Now it seems businesses are struggling with other parts of their energy contracts.

One third (36%) in the survey say they found it difficult to switch energy supplier, pointing to unclear notice periods, complex contract terms and the speed of the switching process.

John Allan, FSB National Chairman said: “It’s clear from our research that many small businesses don’t trust the big energy suppliers to deliver a smarter, fairer and more transparent billing process.”

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There may be a way for suppliers to curry favour though as a vast majority (81%) agree published tariffs would benefit their business, boost competition and make it easier to switch energy suppliers.

Regulators are mulling over running a full investigation into whether there’s enough competition between suppliers.

Mr Allan added: “This week we will tell Ofgem and the Competition and Markets Authority that small businesses won’t get a fair deal until all energy companies publish easily comparable fixed prices, have much clearer terms and conditions and operate in a more competitive and fair market.”