10 Jan 2002 – UK Energy Minister, Brian Wilson, has issued a fresh warning to electricity and gas retailers not to use hard-sell tactics as part of their drive to attract new customers.

The minister wants to ensure customers are not misled and has introduced this month a charter giving them new rights in an attempt to stamp out bad practice.

The industry watchdog Energywatch said it had received 90 000 complaints last year relating to switching suppliers which has been possible since deregulation of the industry. In some cases these included fraud allegations where customer’s signatures were forged.

More than 20 companies now compete in the UK for electricity and gas customers and this latest warning follows a letter written by Wilson in November to energy companies in he drew there attention to “the continuing incidence of erroneous transfers”.