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Last updated: 08 June 2021
Most business energy sales callers will be calling to try and get you to switch suppliers. Although the caller may make this sound appealing over the phone, if you are considering switching energy suppliers, it is a much safer option to do this online.
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deals to find the supplier who can offer you the most affordable tariff that suits the needs of your business. Reducing the energy costs of your business can make a big impact on your overall outgoings so we know how important it is to find the right energy deal.
Energy regulator, Ofgem, has set out a number of rules which energy companies must follow when they contact you. Read these Ofgem guidelines to find out more about what the caller can and can’t do.
Identify Who the Caller Is
Most companies who call you regarding your energy supply will genuinely be calling you to interest your business in a new energy deal. Unfortunately, there are a number of salespeople who do not behave professionally and use a misleading approach to try and persuade you to switch to their energy company. It has been known for commercial energy brokers
to pretend to be your supplier or a new supplier offering you a fake deal and try and get sensitive information about your company.
Ask the caller to say which company they are calling on behalf of. Note down their name, company and a number to contact them on again if there are any problems in the future.
Compare the Deals on Offer
The supplier has to use your current energy figures when they work out the unit rate so the salesperson may ask for your energy data. Do not worry - this is not sharing personal information about your business.
According to Ofgem rules, if they are offering you an alternative deal, they must compare your deal to theirs using accurate figures from the deal you have now. You should also expect them to explain the main components and expected cost of the deal they are proposing. If they don’t do any of these things, ask for this information.
Have your energy bill with you during the phone call so you can compare the deals yourself and formulate your opinion. This way you can also check whether the caller is using accurate figures to compare your current deal and the new deal they are offering.
Check the Terms and Conditions
Ask the company for a copy of the terms and conditions of their contract. Your business should check this thoroughly before even considering signing anything. Make sure there are no problems in the small print of the contract.
Check the cancellation rights of your contract, you don’t want to enter into the agreement and then regret it later and not have the right to cancel. Even if there are no cancellation rights, you are protected by the Consumer Contracts Regulations if you signed the contract online or over the phone. Any of these contracts are given a 14 day cooling off period, in which you have the right to cancel the contract.
It is better to be safe than sorry - ask the supplier how you would go about cancelling the contract if you needed to and if there would be a fee for doing this.
Don't Make a Rash Decision
You don’t need to make a decision about switching energy supplier whilst you are still on the phone. Think about the benefits this switch could have your company and any drawbacks there may be to this new deal. Discuss it with colleagues from your business who can help you make a decision.
Is this definitely an energy deal which will have a positive impact on the energy expenditure of your business compared to your old deal?
If the caller is pressuring you to sign the contract or agree to something over the phone, avoid agreeing to anything. Take the time to make sure the salesperson and their company are legitimate before you sign anything. Be aware that agreeing to the supplier that you will switch to them on the phone is as legitimate as signing a contract.
How can I avoid scams?
Often fraudulent callers will claim to be the government energy regulator, Ofgem, or your current supplier. Do not return calls from ‘Ofgem’ as they would not be calling you. If you are unsure if the caller is actually your current supplier, don’t respond, for now, just take their number. Call the official customer service number of your energy supplier and check with them to see if the number that called you is genuine.
Never give away bank details or sensitive information about your business. Your energy supplier would never ask for these over the phone.
If you’re unsure about whether the caller is a scammer, always be wary. Ask your energy supplier if they made the call and report the number that did call you, if not. If you think you have already been scammed and you’ve given away your financial details, call the police on 101.
Don’t want cold calls anymore? Sign up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
If you are getting frustrated with the number of cold calls you are receiving, you can sign your business up to the TPS. If you are registered to the TPS then companies cannot legally make unsolicited calls to you, without your consent.
There will still be a number of companies who use illegal tactics and contact you anyway. In this case, tell them you are on the official TPS register and threaten to report them if they call your business again.