If I had a dollar for every retailer that I have sent to Energywatch I could now be taking a very nice holiday. I know very often it has been next to useless, but I always worked on the theory that if enough people complained about these conniving, misrepresenting energy companies to the supposed watchdog, then somebody official somewhere might actually do something about it.
Ho. So now the government is going to disband Energywatch. Why? Too overworked? According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Energywatch gets 30,000 calls from small businesses a year. It will be closed on October 1, with its responsibilities taken over by Consumer Direct which, again according to FSB, has shown little willingness or ability to tackle small business energy issues.
The term 'consumer' never bodes well in the business-to-business world. Trading standards invoke it all the time when they should be getting stuck in.
Where will I send my retailers now? Well, to Consumer Direct. They will soon get the message that there's plenty out there in the business sector to address.
And here's a recent example of the cowboy tactics some of these household-name energy companies get up to.
Ola Balogun, who trades as BK News in South London's Forest Hill, says she was approached by EON in February offering a deal. She was supplied by EDF which told her she was on a contract and therefore couldn't switch. She told EON as much. Next thing she learns that EON has told EDF the business has been sold and EDF has cancelled
her contract.
"I don't want to be with a company like that," she says. Quite. Energywatch looked into it and EDF has since apologised; apparently somebody filled in the paperwork for Ola. How kind.