MP joins calls for end of doorstep energy rip-off

Door to door selling of gas and electricity by utility companies should be stopped, Mark Tami MP demanded today. The call follows a series of mis-selling scandals. The Alyn & Deeside MP has today supported a Commons motion calling for the privatised energy companies to stop door-to-door selling.

The Early Day Motion, which is tabled by Tom Watson MP is expected to receive cross-party support when it appears on the Order Paper today.

Mr Tami commented, “All too many salespeople, usually working on commission, have used unscrupulous and underhand tactics to get people to transfer from their existing gas and electricity suppliers.

Salespeople using high-pressure tactics often target vulnerable people, such as the elderly, single women and students living away from home for the first time. I have received representatives from Alyn & Deeside residents who have been victims of slick and deliberately deceptive sales patter.

People become confused and don’t know what they have signed up for, only to realise later that they’ve actually switched suppliers. In other cases price figures are misleadingly presented- what looks like a saving often results in higher bills.”

Last week energy regulator Ofgem fined London Electricity and Virgin HomeEnergy £2 million for failing to stop sales staff from using unscrupulous sales methods to gain new customers.

A fourth month investigation into the energy giant found that some staff were found to have spent hours in public libraries filling in forms authorising a change of supplier using names and addresses taken from the electoral register. And staff working for Virgin HomeEnergy persuaded customers at Virgin Megastore to sign what they thought was information about CDs and holidays only to discover later that they had changed supplier.

The Alyn & Deeside MP added, “The London Electricity scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. This practice of pushing on the doorstep is widespread across the privatised utility industry. It’s now time to protect consumers and get rid of door-to-door energy selling altogether.”