Why is this important?
You’ve been switched to a new gas or electricity supplier without your consent
Sometimes a customer is switched to a new energy supplier without their consent. This is known as an erroneous transfer. This can happen because of a genuine mistake, such as a mix up about a property’s address, or because a salesperson has misled you or behaved incorrectly.
This page explains what to do if you find out you’ve been switched to a new energy supplier without your knowledge or consent.
Top tipsThe Erroneous Transfer Customer Charter only applies when you’ve been transferred without your consent. You can’t use it when you’ve changed your mind.
How do you know you’ve been switched?
Most erroneous transfers come to light when a customer receives a goodbye letter or final bill from the current supplier, or a welcome letter from their new one.
This can be worrying, but the good news is that all electricity and gas suppliers have signed up to the Erroneous Transfer Customer Charter. This is a voluntary code which means they must protect you if you have been switched to a new supplier by mistake.
The Erroneous Transfer Customer Charter sets out the minimum level of service that you should expect if your energy supply has been switched without your consent..
What you can do
If you’ve been switched to a new gas or electricity supplier without your consent, contact either your new or old supplier and tell them what's happened. They should take the following action:
- explain clearly what action they are going to take and keep you updated on progress
- send you written confirmation of what action they are going to take within five working days
- within 20 days, send you confirmation that you are being returned to your original supplier
You shouldn’t have to pay any bills to the new supplier. You should just get a final bill from the original supplier.
Do you have to pay if you were switched without your consent?
You will have to pay for any gas and electricity you use during the erroneous transfer, but you won't have to pay anything to the new supplier. You should receive a bill from your original supplier once you have been switched back.
If your signature was forged on a contract
If a sales agent forges your signature on a contract, you are entitled to a fixed compensation payment of £250 from the energy supplier.
If you discover your signature has been forged on a contract, you should tell the supplier straight away. Fraud is a criminal offence – contact Action Fraud or the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.
- Report energy sales fraud to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.org.uk.