We received a call today at Energy Advice Line that should cause concern for everyone – a domestic consumer had been ‘cold called’ from an ‘offshore call centre’ pretending to be EAL and offering to switch their supply. Luckily the lady had the presence of mind to decline and called us to check, obviously we informed her that we do not use cold calling techniques and in fact we only deal with businesses and their business electricity or gas supplies.
This just goes to show to what extremes some companies will go to ‘get that sale’ and employing these sort of tactics is not uncommon in the business environment.
It was only in July this year that we warned businesses to be wary of cold callers and rogue agents and it is not a problem that is going to go away until stricter regulations are brought in, Julian Morgan of the Energy Advice Line always recommends caution if you receive a call like this and stresses the need to talk to the experts.
“It’s crucial for businesses to use an impartial price comparison and switching service like the Energy Advice Line,” Mr Morgan said. “We always ensure that businesses have all the information they need – with no pressure – to make a well-informed and confident decision about the supplier they switch to.”
He urged businesses to follow the following steps to ensure they were not mis-sold an energy contract:
- Go with a broker that has a large panel of suppliers – check that they are not just working for one specific supplier with a view to making as much commission as possible. Check the internet to confirm the prices on offer are competitive;
- Say no to cold calls – the Energy Advice Line never cold-calls businesses. Do not accept an energy deal from someone who calls you out of the blue;
- Verify who you are talking to – ring the company back and ask to speak to your account manager to ensure they are being truthful about the company they represent;
- Price transparency – go with a broker who is prepared to put the energy tariffs they offer on their website so you can be sure you are making the right choice;
- Commission transparency – demand to know what commission the broker or service receives from the energy supplier in exchange for your introduction. If they will not tell you, be suspicious;
- Pressure selling – a professional price comparison and switching service will not exert any pressure on you to enter into a contract, and will give you the information and time you need to ensure you are making the right choice.
The Energy Advice Line, an impartial online business electricity and business gas price comparison service run by business energy experts for business energy customers, dedicated exclusively to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK.
EAL has developed an online price comparison and switching service exclusively dedicated to business needs. Visit http://www.energyadviceline.org.uk/ for more details.