There I was back in May 2007, really pleased that I had just negotiated a 12-month contract with my electricity supplier at a very competitive rate. It was comforting to know that I was immune from energy price rises, but I was fully aware that once my contract ran out, I would have to renegotiate and possibly switch suppliers to secure the best rate again.
So when I received a bill and saw the unit rate had increased by a startling 93%, I was straight on the phone to my supplier.
Incredibly, it took three days to get through to talk to someone. I was then advised that they were only taking appointments for someone to call me back the following week. When I did eventually get through, to my horror I was advised that I should have given 90 days’ notice to terminate my contact otherwise it automatically rolled on for another 12 months at the new extortionate rates. They did offer me a rate a mere 80% higher if I signed for two more years.
Apparently, this 90-day notice requirement is in my contract, which I can’t locate in the mountains of paperwork that I have to deal with these days. I did request a copy from my supplier, but now four weeks on I’m still waiting. I feel extremely frustrated by the whole saga, as after 17 successful years in retailing, I have always been very cautious and never been sucked into any of the scams that have caught other retailers out.
I know I only have myself to blame, but this mistake will cost me abut £10,000. The only saving grace is that some of my fellow retailers, on reading of my plight, will check their contracts carefully and if in time give their energy suppliers notice of termination. In fact, we should all give notice the day after we sign the contract. Why would anyone want to knowingly renew a contract for another year at an extrotionate cost?