23 August 2007
Energy regulator Ofgem has proposed to change the way business accounts are switched between suppliers.
Rivals of British Gas complained it takes advantage of being notified when a business customer chooses a new supplier by using the industry's "objection window" of several days to offer its former customers a better deal.
Rosie McGlynn, EDF Energy retail regulation manager, said if this continues "contracts will become increasingly complex and the process for termination will become onerous." EDF added it would be forced to impose termination costs on customers that switch and these could exceed £1,500. There is no regulated limit on fees.
Although British Gas's actions were legal, Ofgem said the window was to allow checks to be made to ensure the outgoing supplier had no legitimate objections.
The proposal would stop customers switching supplier during this time, reducing confusion. Responses to the plan are due by 7 September. See " title="Opens a new window">www.ofgem.gov.uk 9 0 /edit/images/new_window_icon.gif 14 12 Opens a new window 0 false false false false
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