Posted by Julia Roxan on 8 August 2017

I’ve just been phone by an energy supplier offering to change me over to their contract. I told them that I didn’t want to move and was happy with my existing supplier. But a few days later I had a letter from them thanking me for agreeing to transfer my supply and asking for my bank details for a direct debit. I didn’t agree to this. What can I do?

If you didn’t agree for your energy supply to be changed to a new supplier, it’s called an ‘erroneous transfer’.

There are a number of reasons why this could happen, for example:

  • a supplier made a mistake, eg they confused your address with someone else’s
  • you were misled by a salesperson

You’ll normally know this has happened if you get a final bill or letter from your current supplier, or a welcome letter from a new supplier.

You should contact either your old or the new supplier to let them know. There is a sample letter on the Citizens Advice website to help you write to them (www.citizensadice.org.uk and follow the links to Consumer and then Consumer template letters)

The supplier must cancel the transfer or arrange for the supply to be transferred back to your original supplier.

The supplier you complain to must also:

  • within 5 working days, write and tell you what action they’re going to take
  • within 20 working days, write to confirm your supply will be returned to your old supplier

This is called the ‘erroneous transfer customer charter’ and all suppliers must follow it. If they don’t, you should make a complaint.

You won’t have to pay any bills to the new supplier. You’ll continue to get bills from your original supplier as normal.

You might want to get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer helpline (tel. 03454 04 05 06), or Action Fraud (tel. 0300 123 2040) if your signature was forged.