Monday 24 November 2014

14-day cooling off period for energy broker deals?

14-day cooling off period for energy broker deals?

Business energy customers might be entitled to a 14-day “cooling off” period for deals done via energy brokers or third party intermediaries (TPIs).

This would give them time to change their mind about contracts. It follows a similar move on the domestic energy front to make switching suppliers fairer and quicker.

The proposal emerged in the minutes of a meeting between industry representatives, suppliers and regulator Ofgem earlier this month.

The watchdog is fleshing out plans for a new Code of Practice (CoP) meant to stamp out bad behaviour from rogue brokers.

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But the minutes revealed there was “widespread disagreement” over the cooling off period at the meeting, suggesting a row could break out if suggestion is given the go-ahead.

Opposition from “several” at the meeting hinged on fears “this would lead to significant costs and risks to TPIs and suppliers, while providing little benefit to customers”.

Other moves on the table to clean up the sector include more reporting and a visible list of accredited TPIs. Firms could also be able to cancel their energy contracts if they are “mis-sold” – according to the Code of Practice - without facing penalty costs, according to the minutes.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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