MSE News: Scottish and Southern Energy guilty of doorstep mis-selling

in Energy
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This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"The power giant falsely told unsuspecting customers they were paying too much on their existing deal ..."
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  • edited 11 May 2011 at 11:11AM
    WidelatsWidelats Forumite
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    edited 11 May 2011 at 11:11AM
    They are not the only ones to mis sell, just that they have been caught out - the rest will follow suit. I have been mis sold by npower so has my neighbour, calls are recorded, can't just be a bad sales rep if the other person on npower desk on the phone taking the details, has also mis sold it.
    Owed out = lots. :cool:
  • edited 11 May 2011 at 11:34AM
    suzie.savessuzie.saves Forumite
    16 Posts
    edited 11 May 2011 at 11:34AM
    I opened the door last week - as in, May 2011 - to a man brandishing Southern Electric ID who gabbled something about an "agency", how we may've overpaid on our electricity & he was offering a free appraisal to find out.

    The "agency" thing caught my attention - was he sent by my tenancy agent? He denied this, so I figured it was just a sales pitch. I informed him (truthfully) that we'd just signed a contract with another energy supplier, so we wouldn't be able to change over anyway.

    He proceeded to interrogate me - who signed the contract? Not me? When would the person who signed it be available? He was very condescending about the fact that I wasn't officially responsible for the bills, & refused to take my word that we weren't interested (or leave) until my male housemate boomed "We're happy with our existing supplier, thanks!" from inside the hallway. Whereupon he scuttled off.

    I saw him being shouted at on the doorstep of another resident down the street, the next day.

    So watch out folks - they're still at it, & it's not a "free service" - it's just a very evasive, misleading sales pitch.


    Update: just logged the visit with Consumer Focus, who're informing my local Trading Standards Authority (whose "contact us" details, inconveniently, just point to the DirectGov website).
    New challenge to self: cut weekly £100 grocery spend in half! :money:
  • ReaperReaper Forumite
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    I had this, the doorstep salesman told me outright I was paying too much for my gas and electricity.
    Me: "Really? How much am I paying at the moment?"
    Him: "Um. Which company are you with?"
    Me: "If you don't even know which company I'm with how do you know I'm paying more than I need to?"
    Him: Mumbled something and squirmed.
    Me: "I'm with Ovo Energy"
    Him: "Who? I've never heard of them"
    Me: "So you have come to my door to advise me on the cheapest option and you don't even know who your competitors are let alone how much they charge?"

    I thought about torturing him some more but took pity on him and just waved goodbye and shut the door.
  • kevin52kevin52 Forumite
    156 Posts
    'SSE is due to be sentenced on 27 May. It is likely to be fined.'
    How will that hurt them? They will just increase prices to their customers to pay the fine.
    They should fine the Directors individually, or give them ASBOs, or bar them from being Directors.
  • charlie792charlie792 Forumite
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    Reaper wrote: »
    I had this, the doorstep salesman told me outright I was paying too much for my gas and electricity.
    Me: "Really? How much am I paying at the moment?"
    Him: "Um. Which company are you with?"
    Me: "If you don't even know which company I'm with how do you know I'm paying more than I need to?"
    Him: Mumbled something and squirmed.
    Me: "I'm with Ovo Energy"
    Him: "Who? I've never heard of them"
    Me: "So you have come to my door to advise me on the cheapest option and you don't even know who your competitors are let alone how much they charge?"

    I thought about torturing him some more but took pity on him and just waved goodbye and shut the door.

    Very similar with what happened with me. SSE had been my supplier at a previous property and when I moved house I switched my supply to them. After several months of them messing me around I switched to OVO which is when 2 rather scary looking men from SSE turned up on my doorstop demanding to know why I had switched, telling me I was paying more with someone else and showed me a 'chart' which was meant to be what I was now paying compared to what I would pay with them. They then proceeded to ask who Id switched to - figured if they had this 'chart' then they should damn well know otherwise how do they have any idea how much Im paying?
    They then proceeded to ask me how much cheaper my new supplier was.......
    Absolutley hopeless, Id never switch back to them even if they were cheapest - (as it goes OVO on a fixed contract is £30p/m cheaper)
    MFW 2020 #111 Offset Balance £69,394.80/ £69,595.11
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  • davidgmmafandavidgmmafan Forumite
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    Totally agree with comments so far, they are far from the only ones doing it and the lines spun rang from minor to porky pies to some absolute whoppers!

    It isn't helped by the fact that, so far as I can tell, the companies don't really take compaints about this on the chin despite Ofgem's rules on the matter. As already state any fine will simply be passed on to customer so the only effective weapon, again just my opinion, is to strongly suggest that Ofgem will revoke thier licence.

    Afterall what's the point of licence conditions if they pick and choose which ones they apply?

    I know Ofgem are hopeless, but surely even this bunch of misfits can see that.
    Mixed Martial Arts is the greatest sport known to mankind and anyone who says it is 'a bar room brawl' has never trained in it and has no idea what they are talking about.
  • DaveF327DaveF327 Forumite
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    Reaper wrote: »
    I had this, the doorstep salesman told me outright I was paying too much for my gas and electricity.
    Me: "Really? How much am I paying at the moment?"
    Him: "Um. Which company are you with?"
    All sounds very familiar.

    I like to get their backs up with the following:

    Me: No comment.
    Him: Well, is it British Gas?
    Me: No comment.
    Him: NPower?
    Me: No comment.
    Him: Why won't you tell us?
    Me: No comment.

    This can go on for quite a while, then they usually get a bit stroppy before they walk next door in a huff. I wish them a pleasant goodbye; I'm not entirely unapproachable ;)
  • PincherPincher
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    These were human beings who have been tortured and mangled by fate into these throes of satan. Rejected by humans, reviled and despised, I can't bear to see them suffer like this. Surely it is an act of kindness to shoot them to end their misery?
  • ElijayElijay Forumite
    10 Posts
    Another tactic is to gain entry by saying he had come to read the meter. This happened to an 82 year old friend.

    Pitch. "I've been sent to read your meter because you are paying too much for your energy". Once inside he bamboozled her with facts and figures. She signed just to get rid of him. And he didn't read the meter.
  • edited 12 May 2011 at 1:17PM
    lifelitelifelite Forumite
    4 Posts
    edited 12 May 2011 at 1:17PM
    In my case the SSE energy sales people were based in Marks and Spencers store. Their sales staff have been giving a print out which claimed/showed consumers were paying too much with their current energy supplier, when in fact this was not actually true. The seller didn't actually have a clue, but the sales script was cleverly designed to put potential customers on the back foot and give them a sale.
    For me and many others this underhanded, misleading behaviour in energy sales have been a nightmare and has caused a lot of stress, that was totally unnecessary - a case of ‘Deliberate mis selling’
    It is a about time a government body forced all energy companies to look long and hard at how they sell their product. If there is one thing that will drag the reputation of a company or market through the mud, it is deliberate and wilful mis-selling to consumers.
    Energy firms have had years to sort out this issue and yet they continue to trick and mis lead people because the punishment is not severe enough. It is clear from the responses posted that this practice appears to be escalating and it is about time they all cleaned up their act to make sure customers can rely on an honest and fair information and service."
    Clearly, this sales practice is still happening today and I have experience and evidence that SSE mis-selling in M&S stores up and down the country is still going on. As such, I will be demanding a prompt and full investigation in to the situation and I encourage others to do the same and maybe together we can put a stop to this fraudulent behaviour once and for all.
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