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Scottish & Southern Energy rapped for mis-selling

Scottish & Southern Energy rapped for mis-selling

Category: Gas and electricity

Updated: 11/05/2011
First Published: 11/05/2011

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One of the 'big six' energy suppliers in the UK has been found guilty of misleading people into switching their gas and electricity firm.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) was found to have tricked potential customers on their doorsteps to get them to change their energy supplier, following a successful prosecution by Surrey County Council Trading Standards.

The verdict was delivered at Guildford Crown Court and is thought to be the first trial of its kind against one of the UK's major gas and electricity suppliers.

SSE was found guilty of two counts of taking part in misleading selling practices which were related to a sales script.

Doorstep sellers used print outs which they claimed showed that consumers were paying too much for their current energy supplier.

In reality, the print out did not show this.

The incidents took place between September 2008 and July 2009.

Steve Playle, the Surrey County Council Trading Standards officer who led the investigation, said he was absolutely delighted at the result.

"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," he added.

SSE will be sentenced on 27 May, but has not yet decided if it is to appeal.

Energy firms in the UK have come under heavy scrutiny in recent months, following all six implementing price rises over the winter.

The owner of British Gas, Centrica, warned consumers that their energy bills would rise again this year earlier this week, blaming increasing wholesale prices.

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