Business Energy Claims client Malcolm Harrington has appeared on BBC’s Rip Off Britain to expose an energy broker which duped him out of thousands of pounds.
We recovered a substantial sum for bed and breakfast owner Malcolm earlier this year after Energy Prices Direct failed to disclose commission it had received when arranging two gas contracts.
As the UK’s leading organisation in tackling energy broker mis-selling, Business Energy Claims worked closely with Rip Off Britain to provide the background required for their feature on the multi-billion pound issue, which appeared on Wednesday’s episode of the show.
Malcolm explained on the programme that he had discovered the extent to which his picturesque B&B No1 The Laurels, baased in Henfield, West Sussex, had been deceived after contacting us last year.
“They (Energy Prices Direct) seemed very plausible,” Malcolm, who has owned No1 The Laurels for 28 years, informed the nationwide audience. “I suppose I trusted the broker, not really based on anything apart from the fact they seemed to be very efficient and knew what they were talking about.”
Thirteen months into a three-year contract, Malcolm was approached again by Energy Prices Direct, who offered the B&B a new three-year deal with the same supplier.
Malcolm added on Rip Off Britain: “I thought then that it was a long way in advance (of the first contract ending) and I questioned that.
“They replied saying ‘well, electricity and gas prices never go down, do they? If you take this rate now you will be quids in’.”
Two years later, Malcolm came across an article featuring Business Energy Claims and contacted us to look into whether he had been misled.
He said: “They (Business Energy Claims) told me that the existing contract was not very good and there were hidden commission charges in it.
“They also said that the second three-year contract which I had signed up to and was going to kick in five months down the line was a really bad deal and there were considerable hidden charges.”
Energy Prices Direct originally approached Malcolm by offering to source No1 The Laurels a good deal on its energy, and went on to arrange two gas contracts for the B&B.
At no point did the broker disclose its commissions and after Business Energy Claims was contacted by Malcolm to investigate, we found that a substantial amount had been added.
We successfully progressed the claim and recovered several thousands of pounds for the B&B, which like all hospitality businesses had already been harshly hit by the pandemic.
Energy Prices Direct told Rip Off Britain that the commissions were not hidden, and would have been revealed had Malcolm asked about them.
Malcolm said: “I started to get really angry because I just couldn’t see the logic behind why I as a customer should have to ask them to reveal something that was hidden.
“Commission had never been mentioned. I guess they built up trust which as it turned out was betrayed.
“I feel that justice has been done now.”
No1 The Laurels is one of hundreds of UK businesses which has been helped to reclaim funds which are rightfully theirs by Business Energy Claims.