EDF boss says TPIs must be held to account too

Vincent de Rivaz the CEO of EDF says brokers and price comparison sites must be scrutinised at the same level as suppliers. He made the comments in a written response […]

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By Sumit Bose

Vincent de Rivaz the CEO of EDF says brokers and price comparison sites must be scrutinised at the same level as suppliers.

He made the comments in a written response to the chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee Angus MacNeil, who had written to all the Big Six suppliers asking about their sales practices and tactics, in light of the recent Mail on Sunday investigation into aggressive call centre selling by SSE.

In the letter Mr de Rivaz defended EDF’s sales record on trust.

He said: “Trust comes from getting the essentials right and making things simple for our customers. The number one example is customer service.”

The boss of the French energy giant then told Mr MacNeil suppliers aren’t the only ones who need monitoring.

“We are proud of our record. However, we cannot achieve this alone, it requires the entire industry to consistently uphold the highest standards.

“This is why we encourage your Committee to broaden the scope of this inquiry to focus on all suppliers, large and small and on third party intermediaries and price comparison websites. To improve the service delivered to customers, we should all face the same level of scrutiny.”

Apart from EDF, npower, E.ON, ScottishPower and Centrica all responded to the enquiry from Mr MacNeil.

All of them denied they were guilty of mis-selling or using rogue tactics.

Keith Anderson, Chief Corporate Officer at ScottishPower also agreed with Mr de Rivaz that other sectors of the supply sector needed checking.

“While we welcome the Committee’s interest in this important issue, we note that your request is limited to large suppliers. According to the latest Energy UK statistics, 43% of all electricity switches in April were from larger to small and mid-tier suppliers.

“It might, therefore, be useful for the committee to take wider industry perspective and review practices across a wider group of suppliers.”