A company that i work closely with Switched On Brokers have just moved into new offices and are now being bombarded with cold calls regarding their energy contracts. You have to challenge their intelligence and wonder if they make a connection regarding what we do when Cold Calling.
These calls are not from energy companies – although on two occasions have pretended to be calling from Eon & Npower (when challenged they hung up!) – but most say they are calling about a meter upgrade as they are new tenants and that we need to change the meter (blatantly untrue). Names being used include The Meter Registration service; Business Energy Support Team; or from Action Energy; Energy Search, etc. Not one of them introduced themselves as being an energy broker, and when asked if they were, they were very evasive in answering that direct question.
Most of the calls are coming from one company based in the North West called BES. They are not an energy broker but in fact an energy provider. Ofgem recently carried out its own investigation into this group. This ended with the damning verdict that BES failed to explain important contract terms properly, failed to handle complaints adequately and then wrongly blocked customers from switching to a different supplier. Ofgem described BES’s misconduct as ‘unacceptable’ and hit it with penalties totalling £980,000, including £310,000 to be returned to customers.
As an organisation Yorkshire Plus Ltd & Switched On Brokers are well equipped to deal with these types of calls, but some businesses do get drawn into a conversation with these people and before you know it have agreed an energy contract which could be as much as 30%-50% more expensive that the going market rate. In actual fact one of my customers who is with this company has been quoted a price of 5.3p per kwh for their gas renewal when the market price is around 3p per kwh.
Most energy brokers will work on behalf of a client to get them a good energy deal, however there are some who will blatantly try to rip customers off. These tend to be the ones who contact you by phone. So the rule of thumb is don’t accept calls from anyone trying to get you an energy deal. If they do call, ask them to email you their company contact details as you are too busy to speak to them at the moment but say you will give them a call back.
If they don’t send their contact details, you know it’s a scam.
If they say they will just call you back without leaving a name and contact number, you know it’s a scam.
If you are a business that’s planning to move be prepared for these types of calls when you do move in, but better still get the new energy contract in place before you move. A good energy broker will do this for you.
The best way to protect your business from being ripped off is to never, ever take a cold call from anyone trying to provide you with an energy deal. If you are a company which has someone who screens calls, ask them to check out who’s calling and ask for their contact details so that you can phone back. We have built our business just on referrals from satisfied clients and we always visit our clients to ensure that they know who is looking after their best interests.
Check out the energy page on our website and download your free 7 Deadly Sins of Energy Companies.