5th March 2009 at 7:38 pm

Dishonest Doorstep Tactics – Southern Electric

I can’t believe the gall of these people – I have just been visited by one of these low lives. I wouldn’t have answered the door to him but my neighbour had already let him into the communal hallway. The conversation was something like this.

Him: “I’m here about the new government scheme to reduce energy costs through green energy. I just need to check the meter. This new scheme means that you get the electricity straight from the generator so there is no middleman to take a cut.”

Me: “Are you trying to sell be something.”

Him: “No, I’m the area manager, I’m here because of the new government legislation.”

He then took a meter reading and put it on a form. He said I just need to make a phone call and send them though – “then you can start saving straight away.” I could see space on the form for him to complete all my personal details and signature.

I told him that he could leave me information but if he was expecting me to sign a form, there was no way I would be doing that on the strength of his visit. Still avoiding the question, he started quoting how much I was going to save – the unit rate he quoted would have been 19% cheaper than I am paying today, if I had believed him. He also seem to think that telling me that my existing supplier was owned by the French, would sway me. Anyway, he finally got the hint that I would not be signing anything and went away.

Once he was gone, I did a quick check on some price comparison sites – As far as I can tell, I would have ended up paying more!

Unfortunately that’s not the end of the story as his pitch worked on my neighbours and they signed the form. I spoke to them after and told them what I thought. I showed the printout of of a Watchdog article investigating this particular company for exactly these tactics. My neighbour genuinely thought that they were signing up to a government scheme and that they didn’t have an option.

As to the company – it was Southern Electric. Here is a link to the watchdog article which includes information on your right to cancel.

I just wonder how many other people he has conned in the area!