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BES/Commercial Electricity telesales - got talkied into a 5yrs contract


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OMG i wish i had come on and done some research.

 

 

Commercial utilities rang me this morning to say we needed to set up our electric for the new premises we are taking over.

 

 

They did a huge hard sell, but said how independent they were and all the different rates for our area and how BES were the best so go with them.

 

 

I asked if I could review the paperwork at home and they said yes it would be all sent to me.

 

 

Didn't mention by then it would be too late as commercial contracts don't have a cooling off period!

 

 

I rang BES straight away this afternoon after I realised this and that the rates they had told me were total rubbish!

 

 

BES were definitely not the cheapest, that you don't have to have a 5yr contract (i was told commercial property only do 5yr contracts).

 

 

All total lies.

 

 

BES say they cant cancel the contract as binding, despite the fact i was lied too!

 

 

its a joke, im so angry.

 

 

We are a not for profit community based club and this contract could cripple the club.

 

 

Im so shocked this can happen.

 

 

Ive tried the ombudsman and citizens advice,

 

 

they both cant help,

 

 

said trading standards wouldn't help.

 

 

so have to write to BES and see what they will do.

 

 

its crazy!

 

 

we are definitely going to have to go to the media with this

as we have a massive following locally and nationally at the moment about the move.

 

 

but its another fight we don't need. any advice on the best way to proceed would be greatly appreciated! Should we contact the current supplier and tell them not to let BES take over? we aren't due to take over the building until mid nov and that is the date they said they would do the switch over. although i don't trust anything they say.

Edited by MelMonro
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own thread created

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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what sort of constitution does the club have? It may be that you have no powers to make contracts and therefore they cannot change the existing arrangements/supplier. Your committee might have to sack you but I'm sure that getting re-elected wont be a problem. BES will have a massive problem finding someone to sue as their is little in the way of law that will help them identify a person or legal entity. They wont be able to sue you personally as you would not be an interested party and without any authorisation or cooperation it will be a very long drawn out matter.

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It is also clear that they are using deception to gain a pecuniary advantage so they might want to consider listening to their own tapes before they decide to try and enforce any contract. They have a habit of doctoring the tapes though to make it look like something different is being constructed. Another posted some while back recored his conversation with them and they tried to produce a doctored tape to claim that things were different. The odd yes edited in to a different place makes a big difference but a noise analysis showed them up..

How about the BES rep commenting on this one?

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It is also clear that they are using deception to gain a pecuniary advantage so they might want to consider listening to their own tapes before they decide to try and enforce any contract. They have a habit of doctoring the tapes though to make it look like something different is being constructed.?

 

Careful or you will be getting a letter from their solicitors!

 

We requested recordings of the 3 or 4 calls we had with them - and they managed to provide one, which I was not happy was an accurate representation of the conversation held.

 

Alarming people into the fact they are paying "emergency rates" appears to be the classic. If you look at it psychologically if you phone someone and use the word "emergency", straight away it lures you into a false sense of insecurity.

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Our club is set up as a company limited by guarantee and im one of the directors so unfortunately i cant get round it by saying i don't have the right to do it. Although

i could argue that any major decisions are suppose to go through the committee and a one of conversation over the phone obviously couldn't have involved a committee decision. But not sure if legally that would stand. As far as im aware the only bit of the conversation the broker recorded was the actually middle bit where he said a load of stuff super fast and asked me beforehand not to say anything or ask any questions until afterwards just to say yes when needed. if hadn't been caught off guard i would have realised this sounded amazingly dodgy!

 

I spoke to the women later from BES (the broker said they had to put me through for something and just answer my name and address and stuff) and wouldn't last more than a minute. I voiced my concerns to her and said i actually didn't want to go through the stuff with her as i had changed my mind as felt pressured by the broker. She said could she change my mind and i said no. I said would that mean the policy wouldn't go through, She then said oh it will go through anyway without this, but there is nothing on my screen so i cant say what it is as we have to wait for the information from the broker to come through. Does anyone know what that conversation was for, why you have to/have that 1 minute conversation with BES after the broker?

 

Im going to ring them on monday and talk to them again. We actually haven't signed the lease to the property yet, merely an agreement to lease which means the lease still has the possibility of note happening (we obviously hope it will). But given I don't have legal hold on the property yet can they actually hold me to a contract on the electric for it. I told them we wouldn't be moving until at least mid nov and they said fine they would do the switch then as it takes a few months to organised so i needed to get it organised now,

 

Neil-uk did they produce tapes of the whole conversation or simply a little bit they recorded. The women i spoke to at BES who wanted to go through this stuff with me said she needed to record that bit of the conversation (much like the broker only recorded part) but i would have thought they recorded al the conversation?

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Hi Melmonro

 

Commercial Utilities Ltd is in fact a company that went into liquidation in March of 2013, and dissolved in July 2014.

anyone using that name must be sole trader or a limited company trading as Commercial Utilities.

 

It would be my advice in the offset to ask BES who the broker was.

It would be worth seeing the other thread about Commercial Reductions Ltd I commented,

which confirms in Mr Pilley's own words how much he likes to ensure his brokers are honest, independent and regulated...

... So BES must have this information.

 

So who sold you the contract?

It can't be Commercial Utilities Ltd as they went bust.

BES will be your only solution to work out exactly which legal entity called you.

You will want to know WHO it was and WHO owns the company.

 

If they can't provide you with those details, the contract must be considered null and void.

There is a London Barrister from a big law firm who is taking a close interest to BES,

if you can't get anywhere with them feel free to post and I shall give you his details.

 

Your account of the broker in terms of reeling off the terms quickly rings familiar.

I may stand corrected, but it is my understanding there are some telesales regulations

which act as a guide to approximately how many words a minute you may use

when signing someone into a contract.

I shall ask the Barrister tomorrow.

 

As a precaution, I would sign the lease in a different name, and do a Change of Tenancy after you have moved in so that the contract cannot stand up legally.

 

It concerns me that you have said that the broker said "i needed to get it organised now" - clearly a broker is there to give independent advice.

My energy on a commercial property changed within 7 days, whilst is can be up to 8 weeks - it sounds like you are being led up the garden path a bit.

 

In response to your question about recordings......

The Barrister has it on authority from an ex-employee of BES that in fact brokers do record the whole conversation,

but only choose to issue part of the recordings.

 

 

Clearly, this isn't a true representation of the entire conversation as it fails to show the circumstances

into how the person agreed to the contract

- in your case you allege it was a pressure sell, but if only part of the conversation is issued there is no evidence of that, which quite clearly can be played on.

 

Unfortunately, generally the Telecoms companies will only release the recordings of these calls when the Police step in,

so it is unlikely under any civil action you can obtain the 'true' recordings.

 

 

However, the Barrister in question has stated that the onus would be on the broker/energy company

to prove they have not altered the conversation if you aver that it is an accurate version.

 

In respect of brokers I can make no comment. I can tell you that BES appear to have recordings of entire conversations, as they sent me one.

 

The challenge will be proving that the broker has the entire recording, but isn't prepared to part with it.

 

As a point of caution

I would feel it reasonable to point out that both the brokers and BES appear to be asking for gas meter serial numbers too.

Their sales agent asked me for my gas serial number

- despite trying to sell me an electricity contract.

 

 

Clearly Gas had no relevance to his failed sales pitch,

so I am at a loss as to why they would ask for this information unless it was being added to a form of database

- which warrants the question why do they need and what is being done with this data?

 

Does that help at all?

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Thank you for all your replies, they were very much appreciated.

 

I have spoken with BES customer services today who have been very accommodating and sorted this problem for me.

 

Could admin either remove this thread now or let me know how to go about removing it as I cant work out how to do it.

 

Thank you.

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Thank you for all your replies, they were very much appreciated.

 

I have spoken with BES customer services today who have been very accommodating and sorted this problem for me.

 

Could admin either remove this thread now or let me know how to go about removing it as I cant work out how to do it.

 

Thank you.

 

Hello there.

 

You can't remove your own thread I'm afraid.

 

At CAG, we only removed threads for legal reasons, as explained in the site rules. If you feel there is a legal reason, please either post it on the thread or send me a PM and I'll look at it for you. :)

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi Melmunro

 

 

Please could you let the forum know if BES have cancelled your contract completely or what action they have taken to remedy the problem?

Thanks

Hi

I think there is no point to talk with them

One side they talk with you and other side they play games

Last 4 weeks I am trying to solve this issue but still on same step

Government should take some strict action against bes

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F.khan: Something is happening. Watch this space. I am limited on what I can say at present.

 

Melmunro: It would help other users understand why from being so angry and feeling lied to (in your own words), you have now had a complete change of heart?

 

I would also feel it reasonable to ask whether you have been coerced into requesting the removal of this thread as part of a resolution to your issues?

 

It is with concern it appears that brokers who appear to have gone bust are in fact alive and kicking, and in your own admission "...did a huge hard sell, but said how independent they were....". Can you advise what BES's position was in respect of this?

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How can any reputable energy company accept 'contracts' from a brokers who have gone bust?

 

I would put it beyond reasonable doubt that Melmonro's contract was canceled on the condition she no longer commented on the forum and requested the removal of this thread.

 

You just can't treat people like this and expect to get away with it! It's wrong!

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For the attention and information of everyone on the forum please be aware that Ofgem are now investigating several issues re BES. If you want further information about their investigation then please check out the Ofgem website and look under the investigations tab. You can also register on their website for e-mail updates on how their investigation is progressing.

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shelley, I am afraid I am going to have to remove the link you have been posting up.

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For the attention and information of everyone on the forum please be aware that Ofgem are now investigating several issues re BES. If you want further information about their investigation then please check out the Ofgem website and look under the investigations tab. You can also register on their website for e-mail updates on how their investigation is progressing.

 

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/investigation-bes-and-its-compliance-its-obligations-under-gas-and-electricity-supply-licences-standard-licence-conditions-7a-7b-7-14-and-21b

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We are happy to comply with Ofgem and always have been, following an almost 10 year untarnished record as a supply business. Investigations are common place in the energy industry and this is one of 16 live investigations across all energy suppliers currently including many of the ‘Big 6’. We treat all Ofgem intervention seriously but we also see it as an opportunity to seek guidance on how to improve our processes and in this instance, as every other, we will be looking to Ofgem to help us tweak our processes for the future. I would encourage people to respect that an investigation is neither admission nor an accusation of any wrong doing, it is simply an opportunity for the regulator to understand in more detail how we approach compliance against a small handful of the many supplier licence conditions which are in operation in the market. Any outcomes of this process we therefore intend to use to strengthen for future growth as we look to continue to take the fight of the smaller independent suppliers to the wider market and in particular, the ‘Big 6’.

Ben Jones – CEO, BES Utilities

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As Ofgem are the industry regulators and are responsible for granting licences to companies to enable them to trade I don't think you have much option other than to comply with them as they carry out their investigation. Also, although there are 15 other live investigations being carried out by Ofgem at the moment into other providers it is worth noting that the investigation into BES is on considerably different grounds as to the majority of their other investigations e.g. some companies are being investigated as they have allegedly installed the incorrect type of meter etc.

As you say an investigation is neither an admission or an accusation of any wrong doing and we will all have to wait to see what the outcome of Ofgem's investigation will be. However, I struggle to see why you need to have a formal investigation carried out by the industry regulator to help you 'tweak' your processes for the future. A few suggestions for 'tweaks' should, in my opinion, include the mandatory recording of the entire telephone conversation between the unregulated brokers that you rely heavily on to sell your contracts so that there can be no dispute about what has been discussed and agreed prior to the contract being entered into and also the full and open provision of information of those brokers when customers ask for it to challenge them. I am sure that other people on these forums could come up with other 'tweaks' for your company but I will offer those to you for free.

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