Schools urged to be aware of energy contract mis-selling

Business Energy Claims is warning schools and academies that they may have been the victims of energy mis-selling and could receive a compensation pay-out.
The company has already recouped six-figure sums for educational establishments.
Callum Thompson, chief executive of Business Energy Claims, said: “Schools are just as liable to mis-selling from energy brokers and suppliers as any other type of business.
“There is a flood of energy mis-selling to educational establishments by brokers struggling to survive, and with over half of all UK brokers described by analysts Plimsoll as financially ‘mediocre or in danger’, even before the pandemic and gas supply and price issues hit, their increasingly shocking behaviour is something we shouldn’t be surprised at.
“Our success in winning settlements for many clients in different sectors should be a salutary lesson for energy brokers and suppliers that the mis-selling of energy will not be accepted.
“State schools are funded by the taxpayer and independent schools by hard-working families paying their fees.  By not providing the best, impartial advice brokers are effectively taking money from all of us.”
Callum continued:  “Although Ofgem is forcing energy brokers to reveal hidden commission fees it will be a long time before its recommendations are implemented. This means the practice of mis-selling will continue and more schools will be paying higher energy bills than necessary.”
There are more than 2,000 brokers selling energy to businesses. The market is unregulated, and Business Energy Claims has identified a significant, and growing, number of cases of hidden charges and other forms of mis-selling.   To date it has helped hundreds of businesses make claims from a few thousand pounds to £1.8 million.
The key areas of mis-selling by energy brokers are hidden commission fees; favouring suppliers offering brokers the best incentives; and selling contracts with the best incentives.

Other areas of mis-selling includes misrepresentation – claims regarding number of suppliers searched for ‘best price’; Negligence – failure to take sufficient care in advice; and serious misconduct such as creating fabricated supplier rates (to favour the broker’s preferred choice), fictional price comparisons, agreeing contracts without the consumer’s consent.