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Toto backs down after pressuring disabled woman with door-to-door salesman

Nic McBride

Nic McBride
Jan 10, 2018

A woman who suffers from a brain condition says she was pressured into switching energy companies by a door-to-door salesman.

Susan Crane, 59, from Horley, Surrey has neuropathy - which means she can suffer from brain bleeds.


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She is also recovering from a stroke and has recently had cataract surgery.

Susan said she switched to Toto Energy in November after a man knocked on her door.

"He talked me into it... I had just taken my meds, I just wanted to get rid of him.

"He signed me up, but I just wish I had shut the door on him."

Things only got worse from there.

READ MORE: Door-to-door energy selling is back – avoid a bad gas and electricity deal

Susan said she had trouble topping up her prepayment meter, and had trouble getting hold of their customer services.

"Every time I phone I am left on hold."

At one point she was down to 70p of emergency gas credit and despite being told she had £20, it was not added to her account.

A frustrated Susan came to A Spokesman Said for help.

We told Toto that they weren't with Dorothy in the Land of Oz and to sort out their act.

And with three clicks of their heels, Toto put the money back on Susan's account AND agreed to switch her back to her old supplier Economy Energy.

Susan was delighted with that, and won't be buying anything on her doorstep anymore.


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Beware door-to-door selling

Door-to-door selling is still legal, but considered bad practice.

If you feel you’ve been the victim of misleading doorstep selling, tell us about it. We're in your corner.

Between 2011 and 2012, the Big Six were forced to stop door-to-door selling under pressure from consumer groups after rampant mis-selling was exposed

They were fined £40m by watchdog Ofgem for breaking face-to-face marketing laws. None have resumed the practice since.

Inexperienced energy sellers were found to be giving households misleading or downright false information about the savings on offer.

Some customers even switched to a more expensive tariff after following faulty advice.


How to deal with a door-to-door salesman


Don't feel pressured.

Our advice on dealing with doorstep agents, whether it’s energy or encyclopaedias, is simple: politely decline any offers and shut the door.

You’re better off running a comparison yourself to make sure you’ve got a fair energy deal.



If you want to hear them out, always ask for ID and take note of:

  • Their name
  • The energy company they work for
  • Their contact details

Most door-to-door sellers work for one energy supplier so will only be able to offer you deals from that company. Remember, using a comparison site like A Spokesman Said will show you a range of great energy deals.



Using your bills.

Ofgem has rules that companies selling you energy must do it properly.

If you give a salesperson information on your energy use, they must use this when calculating your quote.

They must provide you with an estimate of their offer. They should also show you how their offer compares to your current deal.



If you do decide to switch, remember you have the right to change your mind with a 14-day cooling-off period.