After a telemarketing call, a customer’s electricity account is transferred without his agreement (December 2017)

Getting connected and changing energy company
Case Number 2017/25002
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

An electricity company made a telemarketing call to Mr H, asking him to switch his electricity account to it.  Mr H didn’t agree to transfer, but asked the company to send him some written information so that he could consider the offer.

When he didn’t receive any information, Mr H called the company to request the information again. The customer service representative who took the call told Mr H that he’d been signed up with them, and that  the cooling-off period of ten days was about to expire. On the same day, Mr H received a welcome pack via email.

Two days later, Mr H repeatedly tried to call the company to cancel the transfer, but when his calls weren’t answered, he contacted EWOV and we raised an Assisted Referral. 

The Investigation

A higher level representative from the company contacted Mr H and agreed to arrange a transfer back to his original company. However, on the same day Mr H received an email stating that payment would be required. He called the company’s call centre and was told that the transfer back to his original company would be arranged by 15 November 2017. When that didn’t happen, Mr H recontacted EWOV and we upgraded his case to an Investigation.

We searched the national transfers database and found that the transfer back to Mr H’s retailer hadn’t been completed. However, when we spoke with the company, it confirmed that the transfer was being actioned. 

The Outcome

The retailer acknowledged that it had incorrectly obtained billing rights to Mr H’s property. It arranged a retrospective transfer back to Mr H’s original retailer and confirmed that it would not bill Mr H. To make sure he wouldn’t receive any more marketing calls from it, the company also put Mr H on its ‘Do not call’ list. Finally, it provided a $50 Visa card voucher in recognition of the inconvenience the transfer without consent had caused.

Mr H was satisfied with this outcome, and we closed the case.

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