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Stop the cold-calling

MP Tim Yeo wants energy companies to put an end to 'Del Boy'-style sales tricks. Yeo, the Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, said: There is mounting concern in Parliament about the doorstep-selling techniques of large energy companies. If it turns out that consumers are being persuaded to switch contracts when it's not in their best interests, by salespeople keen to earn commission, then it would only be right for the energy companies to cough up compensation.'

Consumer Focus wants the practice of knocking on doors in an attempt to drum up new customers to end. 'This industry has an appalling track record of mis-selling at people's homes and has had more than a decade to change,' said the organisation's director of energy, Audrey Gallacher. 'The energy industry must recognise it needs to change to stem the tide of distrust and anger that doorstep selling is causing.'

Scottish and Southern Energy, which signed up half its clientele through door to door selling, has since given up the practice, putting 900 people out of a job. They still however find themselves subject of an investigation by Ofgem, which in 2008 said that almost half of those who swirched products on the doorstep found themselves worse off.

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