Energy firms to face miss-selling probe

Ofgem has launched an investigation into four energy companies amid concerns of miss-selling to consumers, it has been announced.

Ofgem has launched an investigation into four energy companies amid concerns of miss-selling to consumers, it has been announced.

The energy regulator said it was prepared to take "strong action" if it found that npower, Scottish Power, Scottish and Southern Energy and EDF Energy were failing to comply with new obligations to prevent miss-selling.

It has set up a hotline for consumers who are concerned about the sales approaches employed by suppliers to sell energy contracts, either face to face or by telephone.

The move follows tougher obligations imposed on suppliers in October as part of Ofgem's investigation into the energy retail market.

Ofgem spokesman Andrew Wright said: "Suppliers have existing obligations to detect and prevent miss-selling, and new licence conditions were brought in following our probe to further increase protection for customers.

"We expect all suppliers to comply with these tougher obligations but if our investigations find otherwise we will take strong action."

Under the new obligations, suppliers must be "proactive" in preventing miss-selling to customers, both face to face and over the phone.

Suppliers who are selling contracts face to face must provide customers with an estimate before any sale is concluded.

Customers should usually also receive a comparison of the supplier's offer with their current deal.

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