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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32177
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Our small business moved into new premises on the 30 April

Customer Question

Our small business moved into new premises on the 30 April and upon arrival were contacted over the telephone by what now transpires to have been an energy broker. The information given by the caller gave the strong impression that they were responsible for arranging the energy supply to our office and asked us to give the meter readings to them over the phone. They also told us that we were currently being charged on an 'emergency rate' but not to worry as they would deal with this for us. As we were still in the process of moving in and sorting everything out ready to start business the next day, we went ahead and agreed with the cheapest rate they gave us, as we understood this was their role and they were 'officially' there to do this for us, strengthened by the fact that our our new office is run by the local council which has processes in place.

We have today received a 'contract' from nPower and now understand that there is no cooling off period for this. We feel locked into a three year contract that actually we would not have gone for had we been made aware that the person calling was actually an 'energy broker' and would prefer to stay with the existing energy supplier for the office block which we now know to be e-on.

We have also discovered on reading the terms and conditions which we have now received that there is information regarding the termination of the three year contract and costs we will incur, even if we move premises. We were not made aware of this by the 'broker' and again would not have agreed to the contract if we had known.

We would be very grateful for any advise or help on how to deal with this please, as feel we were effectively 'mislead' and as a result 'missold' a new energy supplier.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We would be very grateful for any advice or help on how to deal with this please, as feel we were effectively 'mislead' and as a result 'missold' a new energy supplier.


Taking the above information into account, do we have grounds to terminate our contract without incurring costs?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
What is the misselling issue here?

Sorry if I'm missing the point but what was promised that is not available?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We were mislead by the caller not telling us that they were a 'broker'. They 'cold called' us at a point where we had just moved into the new premises (we received another call later that same day by another broker which raised alarm bells) and proceeded to tell us that they were there to help businesses who had just moved in to the building to find us the best energy supplier deal. Had they told us they were a broker, we would not have dealt with them. As it was, we believed that they were part of the Council's initiative to help small businesses.


Secondly, the full terms and conditions were sent through to us along with the energy supplier's 'agreement' with our 'request'. At this point, it was too late to do anything. There were points in the T&C's which we were not told about, this being that if we wish to end the contract before the end of the three year contracted period, we will have to pay costs that would have been incurred. We were also not given any other 'contract time period' options which we now know exist.


We feel mislead and duped, and would like to know if there is anything we can do to either end the contract - or what rights do we have to get the contract altered. We emailed the 'broker' informing them that we did not wish to proceed with the contract the same day - and received a letter from them one week later telling us we couldn't as it is a verbal contract which is legally binding.


If information that may have influenced our decision was withheld from us by the broker during the telephone call, do we have a case to end the contract regardless or, failing that, get it the contract altered?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

But what was specifically promised to you that wasn't made available?

At the moment, you haven't got a challenge i'm afraid although obviously there may be more to this than meets the eye. The broker point is a non issue.