I’ve just listened to a fascinating recording between a very amiable bloke and Teresa Marshall, who runs Crofton Stores in Yeovil, Somerset. In the recording she is clearly told that her British Gas renewal for electricity was due soon and she could have better rates and no standing charge. This was a year ago.
Teresa wrote: “It all sounded lovely and I said yes. Then later in the year I realised my rates were in fact higher than I had been paying and contacted British Gas to query. I was told they couldn’t help as my contract was negotiated through a broker. News to me. Many calls later I discovered that a company called UK Utilities brokered the contract.”
She did manage to get a copy of the phone recording and, sure enough, they do mention (vaguely) that they are UK Utilities. “So I am officially done over like a kipper.”
The three-year contract which duly arrived from British Gas confirmed that the new rate would be 12.6p per unit. “Which at the time I assumed (I know, never assume) was what we’d agreed and I signed and sent it back.”
Teresa went to the ombudsman, but was told it was a case of mis-selling rather than a conning contract.
I wondered if Trading Standards might be interested given evidence in the form of tape and bills. She’s going to try that.
She could also work out how much extra she has been charged - the tape clearly promises “cheaper than last year” and “best price” - and threaten to sue UK Utilities through small claims.