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Beware of Supplier Win-Back Tactics warns the UK's Energy Watchdog
Energywatch, the UK's gas and electricity watchdog is warning customers to beware of win-back phone calls from British Gas Business.
Julian Morgan, Commercial Director at the Energy Advice Line explains "The win-back tactic from British Gas is putting the client in a very difficult position as they have usually already formed a binding contract with another supplier. Then as a last ditch attempt to keep the customer British Gas object to the client transfering to their new supplier and while this block is in place, their very aggresive win back team phones the client and pressurises them into agreeing a new contract".
There is no denying that with electricity and gas price rises very much a focus of attention at present, small and medium-sized businesses need to consider their options and assess what alternatives are available.
Businesses are starting to complain...
Energywatch state that business consumers are starting to complain that they are now being penalised by their new new supplier if they have accepted a win-back deal with British Gas.
Julian Morgan continues "If British Gas wanted to renew with the customer, they should have quoted to keep them when they sent the renewal quotation to them. Clients have even been known to go back to them after obtaining competitive quotes on the open market and ask give British Gas one last opportunity to beat it only for them to decline the opportunity. It does not make sense for British Gas to wait for the new supplier to start the switch process for their win-back team to get involved"
Creating confusion for the client...
This tactic creates a lot of confusion for the client and it can lead to issues of penalties being enforced by the new supplier. Paul Savage, Business Services Manager at energywatch comments "Where a business has agreed to move suppliers, even over the phone, the new supplier is entitled to enforce their new contract, even before they have actually taken over the supply. As a result, small businesses can easily find themselves tied into two contracts with different suppliers at the same time and at the risk of paying substantial penalties."
OFGEM are being pressed to act now!
Energywatch is pressing the energy regulator OFGEM to increase protection to small businesses and representation of the rights of this consumer group.
"In the meantime", advises Paul Savage, "small businesses should be very wary of win back calls. They might ask themselves why their old supplier didn't offer them such a good deal while they were still in contract with them. The deal may not be so good if they factor in the extra costs of terminating their new contract".
If you would like any further information or advice regarding supplier win-back tactics, please do not hesitate to contact the Energy Advice Line on 0800 915 1800 (local rate).