Energy company found guilty of misleading customers

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Guildford Crown Court has found Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) guilty of using misleading sales scripts, which effectively tricked door-step customers into believing they were paying too much to their current suppliers. SSE’s sales agents used these scripts between September 2008 and July 2009.

Spokesman Steve Payle from Surrey County Council Trading Standards said:

When we first became aware of the sales script being used by Scottish and Southern Energy we were convinced that it overstepped the mark and was misleading to potential customers,”

“A doorstep seller had a print out which he claimed showed consumers were paying too much with their current energy supplier, but the print out did not show this.

“The seller didn’t actually have a clue but the sales script was cleverly designed to put potential customers on the back foot and to open the door to a sale,” he added.

Responding to the Court’s decision, SSE said:

We are clearly disappointed with the verdict today and are now considering our legal options, which includes the possibility of an appeal,”

“We want to reassure customers, and potential customers, that this case relates to sales aids used in February 2009, which are not in use today, and we are confident that our sales processes continue to be fair and responsible.”