Energy companies accused of breaking the rules and unjustly pushing new homeowners to get expensive fixed tariffs


    «I was told I have no choice but to fix»

    Richard Masters (pictured) moved home this September. At the time, the 48-year-old from Billingshurst, West Sussex, contacted the existing utility on the property, Octopus, to tell the company that he had just moved in and needed to set up an account. But Richard said he was told he had no choice but to negotiate a two-year term, and at no point had he had the choice of switching to a variable tariff.

    He said, “Sometime after the call, I remember seeing one of Martin Lewis’ social media posts advising people not to fix. I just thought what I was told by Octopus made no sense, so I called them back and told them. «I didn’t want to accept the fixed rate. The operator then assigned me a variable tariff. But it was the fact that on the first call I was specifically told that I had no other option. «

    Octopus told us Richard received «incorrect information» on his first call from customer service. A spokesman for the energy company said: “We have already spoken to the teams involved and initiated further training courses for the respective customer service team to ensure that they know the rules for the products we offer.

    «We correctly re-debited Richard’s account and one of our operations managers left him a note about his complaint and discussed compensation for our mistake.»

    Richard has since told us that he added £ 160 to his energy account.

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