British Gas suspends door-to-door sales calls

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The Independent Online

British Gas has signalled an end to doorstep selling after consumer groups claimed the practice puts pressure on people into switching to worse deals.

The energy giant currently employs more than 300 staff who cold call at homes, but said they will stop knocking on doors for three months while it explores other ways to sell its products. British Gas said it has no plans to make redundancies.

Consumer Focus last month called for a 90-day moratorium on cold calling, but said that out of the other big six suppliers, EDF and Scottish Power refused to end the practice, while E.ON and npower have yet to make a decision.

The other big player, Scottish & Southern Energy, last month announced it would suspend all doorstep activity after being found guilty of two counts of mis-selling in a case brought by Surrey County Council.

Adam Scorer, director of external affairs at Consumer Focus, said "For over a decade cold-call doorstep sales have led to hundreds of thousands of people paying more for their energy after switching to a worse deal. Cold-call energy sales simply aren't what customers need or want."