Bionic contract issue with our small business supply - right to cancel?

This time last year (early Dec '22, to be precise), when the energy crisis was at it's apex, and no-one seemed to be able to offer anything other than the most ludicrous unit rates, I used Bionic as a price comparison/broker to find me the best of a bad bunch of rates on a one year contract.

I am very much culpable of not fully absorbing the small print here, but when I was sent an email stating a contract end date of xth Dec, I noted it in my diary and forgot about it until recently. However it has come to light that when I signed up with Bionic I gave them permission to secure me another contract at any time within those 12 months, and apparently they signed me up to a new plan starting next month, sometime back at the beginning of March, earlier this year.

They claim that they sent me an email in March stating that they were doing this, and that I had to opt out if I did not agree to it. I have no recollection of this email at all, and nor can I find it in my email history, but I get an awful lot of emails, so let's for the sake of argument say that I wrongly thought that it was spam and accidentally deleted it, or something or other like that. They claim that they have record that I have successfully received this email (I don't know how that is possible, but again I must unfortunately take them at their word here).

At this point I should add, that the new contract that they signed me up to is not, as one might imagine, another 12-month contract, no. It's for 3 YEARS(!), ending in Dec 2026! Needless to say I was pretty aghast that they could even do this.

I have spoken with them and they say that I am now committed to this contract, and that I have no recourse to leave. They have offered me a small financial compensation, but I'm still very unhappy with being tied into a provider that I didn't knowingly agree to for another 3 years!

As the new contract has not yet started, I'm wondering if there is some mechanism by which I can legally request to stop it from happening, or have I signed away my right to a 14-day cooling-off period, etc, etc, in my original contract with Bionic? 

If anyone has any advice it would be hugely appreciated and gratefully received.

Many thanks.


Comments

  • This time last year (early Dec '22, to be precise), when the energy crisis was at it's apex, and no-one seemed to be able to offer anything other than the most ludicrous unit rates, I used Bionic as a price comparison/broker to find me the best of a bad bunch of rates on a one year contract.

    I am very much culpable of not fully absorbing the small print here, but when I was sent an email stating a contract end date of xth Dec, I noted it in my diary and forgot about it until recently. However it has come to light that when I signed up with Bionic I gave them permission to secure me another contract at any time within those 12 months, and apparently they signed me up to a new plan starting next month, sometime back at the beginning of March, earlier this year.

    They claim that they sent me an email in March stating that they were doing this, and that I had to opt out if I did not agree to it. I have no recollection of this email at all, and nor can I find it in my email history, but I get an awful lot of emails, so let's for the sake of argument say that I wrongly thought that it was spam and accidentally deleted it, or something or other like that. They claim that they have record that I have successfully received this email (I don't know how that is possible, but again I must unfortunately take them at their word here).

    At this point I should add, that the new contract that they signed me up to is not, as one might imagine, another 12-month contract, no. It's for 3 YEARS(!), ending in Dec 2026! Needless to say I was pretty aghast that they could even do this.

    I have spoken with them and they say that I am now committed to this contract, and that I have no recourse to leave. They have offered me a small financial compensation, but I'm still very unhappy with being tied into a provider that I didn't knowingly agree to for another 3 years!

    As the new contract has not yet started, I'm wondering if there is some mechanism by which I can legally request to stop it from happening, or have I signed away my right to a 14-day cooling-off period, etc, etc, in my original contract with Bionic? 

    If anyone has any advice it would be hugely appreciated and gratefully received.

    Many thanks.
    As a business you do not have an automatic 14 day cooling off period and knowing how these kinds of companies operate you probably did tie yourself in originally. You are probably stuck with it unfortunately, so make sure that you now revoke their right to sign you up to a further contract after the end of this one and learn your lesson, never use a business energy broker, always go direct to the suppliers.

    What are the rates that you are being charged on the new contract? The chances are that whilst it is annoying you are tied in, they may well not be that different than the market rates. 
  • Bionic?  They don't charge $6,000,000 do they?
    Reed
  • Hi This has happened to me today exactly the same thing and they wont do a thing about it ive been on to the ombudsman but no joy
    they did say they would reimburse the commission they made from the contract in full to me which is £1500.00

  • Hi This has happened to me today exactly the same thing and they wont do a thing about it ive been on to the ombudsman but no joy
    they did say they would reimburse the commission they made from the contract in full to me which is £1500.00

    Wow, this is a lot more than they offered to me!
  • Its not the point im arguing to get the contract cancelled it the principle 
    been on to the ombudsman but need a deadlock letter to pursue things which is proving hard as they never respond to emails etc 

  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 115,716
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     They claim that they have record that I have successfully received this email (I don't know how that is possible, but again I must unfortunately take them at their word here).
    I use something with my commercial emails.   Its very common in the commercial world.   It sends back the time, date and IP address when the email is accessed.

    Its not the point im arguing to get the contract cancelled it the principle 
    been on to the ombudsman but need a deadlock letter to pursue things which is proving hard as they never respond to emails etc 
    Remember that you do not get consumer level protections on commercial contracts.   So, its likely to boil down to a choice of putting up with it or employing a solicitor to see if there is any breach of contract.


    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,663
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    been on to the ombudsman but need a deadlock letter to pursue things
    Further to dunstanh's message above, what exactly are you expecting the ombudsman to do?
    On the face of it, you entered into a contract for the supply of electricity and electricity is being supplied in accordance with the contract terms.

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