New rules offer compensation to those who experience issues switching supplier

by Tim Deakin Domestic Energy News

New rules offer compensation to those who experience issues switching supplier

For most people, switching energy suppliers is a smooth, fast and rewarding process. In fact, a recent survey found that just 5% of people found switching to be difficult.

However, for those who do experience issues with their supplier, it will be reassuring to hear that new regulations have been brought in to ensure that compensation is awarded to those who experience problems.

New guaranteed standards set by energy regulator Ofgem have been brought in to ensure that dissatisfied gas and electricity customers are compensated with £30 or more for their trouble. These issues, brought in on 1st May, can include being switched without permission or not having your credit balance refunded within 10 days. Customers won’t have to ask for the compensation as the process is automatic.

Further measures to be brought in later this year will ensure that suppliers have to complete switches within 21 days and issue final bills within six weeks of switching. Once all these changes are active, Ofgem estimates that customers will receive £73.1m in pay outs annually.

Are switching problems common?

Not at all. For the vast majority of people, switching suppliers is easy and offers numerous benefits in terms of lower energy costs and better-suited deals.

The good thing about these new regulations, however, is that it means there is now no reason not to take advantage of switching benefits. They act as a safety net should something go wrong, encouraging better practice among suppliers when it comes to customer service.

When problems do occur, they are usually the result of the energy supplier you are trying to leave behind. A study found that two of the most common switching complaints were poor communication from the old supplier, and poor customer service in general from the old supplier.

So who is eligible for compensation?

The new regulations are now active, so compensation is already an option should you feel you are having any issues. However, Ofgem’s new rules only apply to switching made on or after 1st May, so earlier switching issues will not be eligible.

You will be due compensation if an ‘erroneous transfer’ occurs. This is the description for situations where a customer is switched to another supplier without their permission. The maximum compensation in this instance is £120.

You’re also owed compensation if your supplier fails to repay you any money you’re owed within 10 days of sending you your final bill. In this instance, the charge to them will be £30.

How do you get the compensation your owed?

Getting the compensation requires very little effort on your part, as the process is designed to be automatic. If your supplier fails to meet the new standards, they will have to offer you compensation through a ‘suitable means of payment’.

If you’ve experienced an issue but you don’t get automatic compensation, you should notify your supplier. You are entitled to claim the money owed to you.

How can you switch without hassle?

A few simple measures can help you make the switching process smooth and successful. First, make sure you know the details of your energy use and current tariff so you can compare prices from other suppliers accurately.

You can also check whether your new supplier is signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee. This means that they must pledge to complete your switch in 21 days. You should also send them accurate meter readings shortly before your switch is completed.

Lastly, try using a reputable comparison service to speedily and accurately see how much you could save.

The Energy Check can help you compare tariffs and deals without hassle. Our switching service is there to make sure you find the very best prices for your gas and electricity. So what are you waiting for? Start comparing today! You can also get in touch on 0800 031 48 00.

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