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Watchdog probes energy companies over aggressive doorstep-sales claims

THE energy regulator is investigating doorstep selling by energy suppliers after receiving complaints about repeat calls and aggressive sales techniques by some companies.

"We are investigating and resolving these complaints on a case-by-case basis," said a spokesman for the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), which regulates energy suppliers. "The complaints being received include complaints about repeat callers to the door, lack of clarity in the information provided when signing up, incorrect information being provided, and inappropriate pressure being applied to sign up."

Earlier this month, the British energy company, Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) was found guilty of mis-selling to doorstep customers.

"We have not identified any evidence of a systematic approach to misleading doorstep selling such as what occurred in Britain," said a spokesman for the CER.

"However, we are continuing to monitor the number and type of complaints being received."

Doorstep sales teams are used by Airtricity, Bord Gais and Flogas. All three said they were satisfied with their door-to-door sales techniques. The ESB has just awarded contracts to three companies to provide door-to-door sales.

A spokesman for Bord Gais said it had received two complaints about its door-to-door sales since last January. "We don't tolerate mis-selling," he said.

A spokesman for Airtricity said it has "very rigorous training" and "very clear guidelines" for its door-to-door sales people. "We are not aware of any investigation into doorstep selling," said the spokesman.

Flogas said it had not received any complaints about its doorstep sales.

Sunday Indo Business