Josie Chamberlin sent me an email on the subject of companies' opt-out clauses. She saw red when she got charged £118.33 by Nisa which supplies her with chilled/frozen goods for point-of-sale material that she had no use for.

"Apparently, as I did not read the relevant Bulletin magazine and notify them that I would like to opt out, they automatically send the advertising material. Consequently, it has been sent by a courier for which someone has signed not knowing a) what it was and b) that there was a charge for it. If we had known we would have refused delivery."

As she rightly adds, her store (J Robarts & Son, Codicote, Hertfordshire) is regularly bombarded with information from suppliers and potential suppliers. "There simply are not enough hours in the day to read everything sent. Besides, surely it should be an opt-in scheme. It seems to me a very quick and easy way for a supplier to make some cash having an opt-out system."

In the end it was solved reasonably with Nisa ringing to apologise and offering to credit her account.

By now many of you will be muttering 'I should think so'. But her other problem isn't going to go away nearly as easily.

"Last year we decided to try and benefit from checking out alternative energy suppliers to British Gas Business. We got some favourable quotes and tried to get in touch with our project manager, whose name, email address and telephone number appeared on our invoices."

She left many messages in vain. "I was given the impression that our business was of little importance to BGB and so tried to switch to Scottish Power, who were considerably cheaper and answered their correspondence!"

She sent a termination letter to British Gas, but was informed that, as they needed notification of intention to terminate 120 days before the date, the contract had been automatically renewed. A case of being opted in.

The project manager she had been trying to reach was no longer there. "British Gas had been using old paper with his details on to send out invoices and statements. I agree with saving the planet and using up paper, but that is ridiculous.

"The amount of time, stress and effort that I wasted, and the sheer obstinacy that I encountered when trying to change suppliers is unbelievable."

I put Josie in touch with, which runs a brokerage service on energy supplies (energyhelpline on 0800 970 2626) which is free and shops around to get you the best deals, and ensures you don't get stuck in a rollover contract.