Monday, 25 July 2011

They Just Don't Get It Number 3,652

MPs call for energy doorstep mis-selling compensation.

Fair enough, the energy companies'  practice of hiring people on commission to pressure sell their products is a bad thing because 40% who change switch to a worse tariff. The practice of customer churn does nothing for the energy market, either for suppliers or consumers. Far better for all concerned are fixed or capped tariffs for two or three years. Consumers get reasonably priced energy and price stability and suppliers get profitable long-term customers.

Within a few minutes, price comparison websites can find the best tariffs dependent on one's usage found on bills. For people without interweb access, there should be a duty for suppliers to advise them of their most appropriate tariff.

The elephant in the room in this report is the politicians refusal to see any link with those works of fiction that appera every four or five years just before general elections, party manifestos. If they were subject to the same regulations as company prospectuses, many honourable members would be serving time. Remember back in 2008 when a UKIP member sued the government for breach of contract over Brown's failure to hold a referendum on the Euro Constitution/Treaty? Counsel for the government, ie them against us, said:

"A manifesto promise is incapable of giving rise to a legally binding contract with the electorate. It is a point which is so obvious that I don't want to labour it."

A quote which manages to encapsulate the innate arrogance of both lawyers and politicians.

But if politicians could be sued for breach of contract, HM Taxpayers would pay damages to themselves: unless some way of bankrupting party donors could be devised by the courts outside of the vested interest of the politicians. That would be a good day in court.


Edward Spalton said...

The domestic tariffs of power companies are complicated in the extreme with so many different options as to make anyone's head spin. The bills are very complicated too. For practical purposes this means that you have to take on faith what some price comparison website I believe this is by design.

I would have thought it not beyond the powers of the regulator to insist on common standards of presentation and a common basis of paying for infrastructure costs - whether a flat rate charge for being connected or a fixed number of higher priced units.

Surely half a dozen easily comparable tariffs would cover almost all home requirements.

James Higham said...

there should be a duty for suppliers to advise them of their most appropriate tariff

And there should be peace and goodwill upon earth, Brian.