Why is this important?
How to complain about energy mis-selling
The vast majority of energy salespeople conduct themselves properly and follow the rules about how they should behave. Unfortunately, consumers can be misled or intimidated into signing contracts, or have their signatures forged onto energy contracts. These malpractices cause severe distress and inconvenience.
This page explains how you can complain if you think you were mis-sold a new energy contract.
Always complain to your energy supplier first. The Ombudsman will only look at your case when:
- you have received a letter of deadlock from your supply company, or
- it has been eight weeks since your complaint and it still hasn’t been resolved
How to make a complaint
If you have a problem about how you were sold a new gas or electricity supply contract, complain to the energy supplier first.
Your supplier has to have a procedure for dealing with complaints. You should be able to get a copy of this procedure from your supplier's website or by telephoning them. The procedure should include names and contact details of all available sources of independent help, advice and information.
Once you have complained, your supplier must tell you the steps they will take to sort out your complaint and how long it's likely to take. If you aren't happy with the way your supplier is handling your complaint, you can ask for an internal review.
If you are complaining because you’ve been switched to another supplier without your consent, you can complain to either the old or new supplier. If this applies to you, the companies have to follow a set procedure under the Erroneous Transfer Charter.
If your supplier cannot resolve your complaint
If your supplier is unable to sort your complaint out to your satisfaction, they must tell you this in writing. This is called a letter of deadlock. Once you have been sent a letter of deadlock, if you want to take the complaint further, you can contact the Ombudsman Services - Energy.
If you have not been sent a letter of deadlock, you must give your supplier at least eight weeks to solve your problem before you can contact the Ombudsman. If your supplier needs to speak to you or asks you to provide more information during this time, you should make every effort to engage with them.
Complaining to the Energy Ombudsman
You must make your complaint to the Ombudsman within six months of the date of the letter of deadlock from your energy supplier, if you got one. If you didn't get a deadlock letter, you can make a complaint to the Ombudsman at any time between eight weeks and nine months after the date you complained to your supplier.
The Energy Ombudsman will be able to arrange one of the following:
- for you to get an apology
- for you to get an explanation
- for your problem to be sorted out
- in certain circumstances, for you to get financial compensation
You can complain to the Ombudsman by letter, fax, telephone or online.
- You can use the online complaints tool at www.ombudsman-services.org
Complaining if you’re vulnerable
Some energy consumers are considered to be vulnerable. This might apply to you if it would be unreasonable to expect you to make a complaint on your own. Reasons for this might include a disability, a lack of basic language or reading skills, particularly difficult circumstances such as a bereavement, or your problem being especially urgent. If you are classed as vulnerable, you may be able to get extra help with your complaint.
- More information about the rules energy companies should follow when selling gas and electricity
- How to protect yourself from mis-selling
Ombudsman Services: Energy
PO Box 966