Should Mis-Selling Just Be a Fine?

How protected should consumers be? Are we niave, precious souls that shouldn’t be lied to by horrible corporate businesses who employ money-hungry, targeted individuals who will do anything for a quick sale?

Well no, but there’s an element of trust we place in companies to look after our interests and mis-selling should not be tolerated. That’s why I’m glad to see the regulator fine ScottishPower for door-to-door and telephone based mis-selling.

Scottish Power Mis-Selling

Energy providers make billions of pounds in profit every year, yet their customer acquisition tactics are among the most aggressive in the UK.

With promises of saving hundreds of pounds every year by switching provider, we’re left to believe that they can provide a service which outstrips our current  supplier. However, I have no idea how gas or electricity costs are determined. I mean, yes, there’s a cost to source and distribute the precious resource but when companies are making billions in profit every year, is the whole energy industry not one big mis-selling scam?

Energy Providers Fined

Scottish Power is one of many energy firms being fined at the moment. The “big 6” all seem to be investigated for price-fixing, poor customer service or mis-selling. It’s a modern day scam.

Companies that mis-sell seem to be given a fine and expected to change, however, what’s a £6 million fine every 5 years to a company making £1.2 billion profit annually. The fine is passed onto consumers, similar to Governmental environmental research cost. In the end, consumers are mere pawns in a bigger game of business giants who exploit the vulnerable.

In Parliament, the UK Government is encouraging people to keep their property heated to 21 degrees Celsius at all times. Pensions, the unemployed and the disabled often can’t afford the heating bills, so they freeze. It’s become a constant problem that to stay solvent, pensioners keep their heating off and wrap up warm, because they can’t afford the charges.

Whether we like it or not, the cost of energy is too expensive for a percentage of society. In a developed country I’m personally disgusted to find that people are freezing because of fuel poverty. Where will it end? The fuel prices have just gone up by an average of 7%. The Labour Government says it will freeze price increases by energy providers if it gets back into power.

I would support any programme which helped people stay warm in winter. Ofgem regulate the energy industry and from what I can see they are doing a fairly poor job, letting big energy companies make billions every year, whilst vulnerable people freeze.

The mis-selling of energy providers merely cloaks the real issue – our energy providers are running a mock! Most people are capable of seeing through the “sales speak” from energy providers, so we can decide whether to change provider. However it’s a vital resource in an anti-competitive industry. Change is required. FAST!

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John The Bankruptcy Guy

As an ex-bankrupt, John has experienced the highs and lows of credit. It's with this knowledge that he writes Debt Advice Resource - to help others avoid, or navigate out of, the pitfalls of debt.

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