New rules mean energy customers compensated if switching goes wrong
New rules mean energy customers will be automatically compensated if switching goes wrong, so there's no excuse not to shop around and jump ship from a rip-off supplier.
Ofgem brought the rules into force on May 1st, although this might come as scant consolation to the millions of energy customers who feel like they've been taken for a ride by their money grabbing supplier.
A record number of energy customers switched supplier last year; 5.8million to be precise. And it could save you hundreds of pounds.
Energy firms love ripping customers off, especially loyal, long-term, elderly customers, so teach them a lesson by switching now.
All the major energy suppliers, E.on, EDF Energy, Npower, British Gas and Scottish Power, as well as some smaller firms like OVO, increased their tariffs by as much as 10% earlier this month, and they also have a habit of tempting new customers in with cheap deals only to ramp up the costs at a later date.
This especially affects elderly customers, who are less likely to go online to a website like A Spokesman Said and compare energy tariffs.
Switching supplier can seem like a hassle, or even a risk, but even if it does happen to go wrong, there's a way you can be compensated.
We've compiled a nice list for you of some common ways customers find themselves in a pickle when they switch, and how much money you could receive in compensation.
- When a supplier doesn't acknowledge the problem: £30. If a supplier you have contacted doesn't send you a letter pledging to switch you back to your old firm within 20 days of you flagging the mistaken switch, then you will receive compensation automatically.
- When suppliers don't identify the problem: Up to £60. If your old and new suppliers don't agree that a mistaken switch has occurred within 20 days of you flagging the issue, then you could receive £30 from each of them.
- When a supplier doesn't switch you back: £30. You will receive compensation from your original supplier if you are not switched back within 21 working days.
Credit balance refund delays
- When your credit balance isn't refunded: £30. Your old supplier has to refund the credit left on your balance within 10 days of receiving your final bill or you will receive compensation.
Total: £150 (if everything went wrong)
- When you don't receive your automatic compensation: £30. If a supplier fails to pay you any automatic compensation you're entitled to within 10 days of any breach of the rules above, you are entitled to another £30 for each delayed payment.
Eagle eyes readers will notice that collectively, that figure could add up to hundreds of pounds. So what are you waiting for?
Rob Salter-Church from Ofgem said: "When a switch goes wrong, it can cause inconvenience, and in some cases, real worry and stress for those affected.
"Automatic compensation payments from May 1st, and additional payments this year, should serve as an incentive for suppliers to raise their game and get switches right first time."
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