The Energy Advice Line has been inundated with calls from a string of angry business energy customers who have been receiving cold calls from some utility companies using high pressure sales tactics. Some business owners have even had to stop answering their phones to avoid the calls.
Businesses that have just moved premises are particularly picked on by the cold-callers according to Julia Morgan, managing director of The Energy Advice Line. She said that agents acting on behalf of energy suppliers were using really unscrupulous tactics to try and persuade firms to switch energy suppliers.
Sometimes the callers pose as meter ‘officials’ and try and obtain information from the businesses about their energy suppliers. There is no such position as a meter ‘official’. In some cases firms have been tricked into switching supplier and then find themselves with expensive new contracts.
These callers have even threatened firms with having their supplies cut off if they do not change supplier. They also tell the firms that they are legally obliged to accept the new contract or that they are from bogus organisations so as to obtain confidential information about meters.
The callers somehow find out when a firm has changed premises and that is when most of the calls are made. Businesses have been called between five and thirty times a day with intense pressure being put on them to switch their contract. Now the Energy Advice Line is taking action.
It has started a campaign called ‘Say No To Cold Calling’ in which they will put pressure on Ofgem, the energy regulator, to ban the practice of cold calling. Julia Morgan says that they are going to present their evidence to Ofgem in a bid to get the practice banned and to protect firms from this sort of pressure.