The Energy Scammers

How to avoid the energy scammers – We have spent months researching the market, talking to suppliers and customers about the dangers of the energy market and have discovered a catalogue of misleading and fraudulent activity. 

The Energy Scammers

Avoid the energy scammers

We have spent months researching the market, talking to suppliers and customers about the dangers of the energy market and have discovered a catalogue of misleading and fraudulent activity. 

Our investigation has uncovered a catalogue of techniques designed to encourage customers into long term high commission value products.

Mainly encouraged through boiler room style organisations that incentivise staff with high sales rewards and luxury items.

We found that the industry talks a great deal about transparency and honesty but found very few companies in the SME space that places these values at the heart of what they do. 

Instead favouring high pressure sales tactics and often misleading calls to get the next energy contract signed. 

Large call centres have sprung up in the last few years that systematically target SME customers on a gigantic scale. 

Building up huge amounts of data on customers as to who they are with, what they are paying, when the current contract expires, and who is the all-important decision maker.

These call centres then target SME customers to the point of harassment with some customers explaining that they regularly receive at least 10-calls a week on their energy contract from various companies.

Most boiler room setups, view SME’s as a single transactional process, and offer little or no after sales value and are only interested in getting the sale. The worst of these offer no after sales customer service and actively tell the customer if you have any problems please speak to your supplier.

In extreme cases, they don’t even try and pickup the contract renewal when its next due. 

Don’t tarnish everyone with the same brush

It’s important to point out not all call centres are energy scammers, and during our research we found that it is the minority not the majority that spoil it for others.  We found some great customer friendly call centres that genuinely care about the customers and provide a top-notch service to their SME customers.  The best of these avoided verbal energy contracts and instead preferred to send a physical contract for signature, so the customer had time to understand what they were committing to. 

The best of these provided additional services and solutions and disclosed their commission value to their customers.  So, its not all bad, but very hard to work out who is good and who is bad in such a big market dominated by large aggressive sales teams.

Don’t be the victim of hidden commissions

Although the energy market is heavily regulated and supply licences have certain stipulations and obligations of suppliers.  This regulation doesn’t currently cover the selling of these energy contracts by 3rd parties.  As such they are free to pick a level of commission in a product by using a price plus process to include a fee for the work completed.

In extreme cases this can be more than the price of the actual commodity and add thousands to final costs. 

Some tier one suppliers have combated this by limiting the maximum commission value or capping what can be added to a contract. 

But smaller independent suppliers that need to encourage high sales volumes will still allow a much higher cap value for their products.

Other tier one suppliers then realise that they are losing sales volume because elements of their sales channel are encouraged to sell higher value products, so they in turn increase the commission cap to combat this.

It’s a viscous circle and all hidden from the customer.

Beat the energy scammers at their own game

As with any industry the energy broker market attracts its fair share of scammers and conmen looking to make a fast buck.  From our research you can find out more about the most popular energy scams as we detail the methods used.

Our top 10 energy scams

  1. The energy on sale scam
  2. TBC Scam

Take your time and do your own research

We encourage companies to take responsibility and use online business energy comparison sites like EaaSi Carbon to understand what a normal transparent energy price looks like with fully disclosed commissions.

Our EaaSi Carbon platform provides 100% transparent commissions through our customer commission promise and provides a range of tools to becoming more sustainable. 

Micro Business Review

Following a strategic review of the micro business energy market, the regulator Ofgem has implemented a range of policy measure designed to improve the microbusinesses experience of the energy market.

These measures include brokerage cost transparency: Clarifying and strengthening existing supply licence obligations to provide information about brokerage costs on contractual documentation.

So, starting in December 2022 all microbusinesses energy contracts must clearly show any broker fees.  You can read more on our micro business page, which includes details on the new cooling off period, notice of termination changes and broker dispute resolution.

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