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Were Sainsbury’s and British Gas mis-selling to clients?

British Gas sales staff operating in Sainsbury’s stores are accused of switching shoppers onto more expensive tariffs. In some cases customers could have been left up to £300 worse off – a situation that likely to be investigated by energy regulator Ofgem.

The news echos the doorstep energy mis-selling scandal that blighted the energy industry. E.ON recently became the last of the ‘Big Six’ suppliers to stop doorstep selling of energy products.

In the most recent scandal, salesmen would approach customers in Sainsbury’s store saying they could help them save on their energy bills. However, when shoppers didn’t know their current energy spend, the savings figures quoted were based on a standard energy tariff – often the most expensive.

This made the quoted savings figure seem larger than it was, and in some cases meant customers would have been worse off switching to the recommended tariff, particularly if they were on cheaper tariffs like online energy plans.

Speaking to ThisisMoney, Sainsbury’s said: ‘British Gas has suspended a number of their employees who worked in our stores as energy advisers. We are treating this extremely seriously and will not tolerate any conduct that does not meet our high standards. A full and thorough investigation is underway.’

Having your latest bill to hand when running an energy comparison will allow you to give the most accurate information – for the best quotes use your annual consumption in kWh.

If you are thinking of switching your energy supplier, an online comparison that is accredited by Consumer Focus is the most reliable. That way you can compare energy deals across all suppliers and choose the best deal for you.  Always enter your current energy consumption to see a more personalised and accurate savings figure.

Learn more

Energy switching – Everything you need to know about switching energy.

Energy complaints – How to complain about your energy supplier.

Cheapest gas and electricity – Who is the cheapest supplier for you?