As a consumer you can dispute the validity of a new electricity supply contract in telesales more easily nowadays.
Under the distance selling provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, consumers always have the right to cancel a contract made through telesales with 14 days of entering into the agreement. Nowadays, you may dispute the validity of an electricity supply contract regardless of the cancellation period, including after the new electricity supplier has begun supplying electricity.
If you are unaware of having entered into an electricity supply contract with a new supplier,
- Send a written notification to the network operator – the local electricity transmission company – and dispute the validity of the electricity supply contract you have allegedly made. At the same time, you may demand that the network operator, i.e. the local electricity transmission company, return the electricity supply contract to the old electricity supplier.
It is not the network operator’s task to investigate whether the consumer has a valid reason to deny the existence of a new electricity supply contract, but to suspend the change of electricity supplier.
- Make a complaint to the new supplier, too, in other words, deny that you have entered into an electricity supply contract by telephone. It is the responsibility of the new supplier to establish the existence of an electricity supply contract by playing a recording of the phone call, demonstrating that the consumer approves the contract and that the contract was also otherwise valid.
- If you still disagree on the validity of the contract even after hearing the recording, you may contact the Consumer Advisory Service and refer the matter to the Consumer Disputes Board.
Consumer rights in electricity telesales strengthened when the Government decree on electricity supply settlement and measurement was amended on 3 October 2016. The legal amendment addresses problems encountered in electricity telesales in which the supplier and the consumer disagree on whether a verbal electricity supply contract has been entered into during the call.
FCCA press release 3 October 2016, Stronger consumer rights in electricity telesales
Consumer Ombudsman´s decisions in electricity matters: Consumer Ombudsman’s Newsletter 5/2016