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BES Commercial Electricity Ltd and Business Energy Solutions Ltd - BES Utilities - in breach of industry obligations


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So, despite all of the bleating, the hype, the threats, the smooth posting on these forums and elsewhere, BES utilities have been found to be in breach of several obligations of required industry standards.

 

This will come to no surprise to a large number of people who had dealings with this shabby company and in particular it will come as no surprise to the victims who have suffered from the unjust bullying that they have received at the hands of BES utilities and which in some cases have even destroyed their businesses and their hopes and ambitions.

 

I see that as usual, not only as a regulator taken his time in sorting this out, but the resulting sanction amounts to a mere slap on the wrist and produces no real motivation that any utilities company to do any better.

 

Part of the reason for the limited sanction is that apparently BES utilities cooperated and also admitted the breaches – even though, there were only denials elsewhere.

 

Of course, it makes business sense that when you've been caught out that it is best to put your hands up as quickly as possible and it seems as if this is what BES utilities have done to the regulator despite being in denial to their customers and elsewhere.

 

It has now been left to BES utilities to approach their own customers with proposals of redress. Will they go about this in an honest and decent way? I'm sure that we will find out eventually on this forum and we invite all victims of BES utilities to come here and tell us whether they have received an approach and whether they are satisfied with the way that it is being handled.

 

For people who are looking around for somebody to manage their energy supply, frankly we suggest that you avoid BES utilities for at least two or three years until they have established a track record of straightforward straight-dealing.

 

Investigation into BES and its compliance with its obligations under the gas and electricity supply licences (Standard Licence Conditions 7A, 7B, 7, 14 and 21B) and with the Consumer Complaints Handling Standards Regulations (CHSR) 2008

 

Publication date 18th December 2015

 

Company

  • BES Commercial Electricity Ltd (electricity supplier) and Business Energy Solutions Ltd (gas supplier)

 

 

Status

  • Closed

 

 

 

We investigated whether BES Commercial Electricity Ltd and Business Energy Solutions Ltd (together referred to as "BES") complied with the requirements of Standard Licence Conditions (SLCs) 7A, 7B, 7 and 14 of their gas and electricity supply licences and with Regulations 4 and 5 of the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 2008 (the CHSRs).

The Authority found that BES breached the following relevant conditions and requirements:

 

  • SLC 7A.4(b) – Supply to Micro Business Consumers – These provisions require that, before a licensee enters into a Micro Business Consumer Contract, it must take all reasonable steps to bring the Principal Terms of the proposed contract to the attention of the consumer and ensure that the information is communicated in plain and intelligible language. These conditions were breached for the period 8 June 2010 to 12 July 2015 (Breaches 1 and 2).
  • SLC 7B – Customer Objective and Standards of Conduct for non-domestic supply activities – These provisions require that the licensee takes all reasonable steps to achieve the Standards of Conduct and apply the Standards of Conduct in a manner consistent with the Customer Objective of ensuring that each Micro Business Consumer is treated fairly. This condition was breached for the periods 26 August 2013 to 12 July 2015 (Breach 3) in relation to failure to communicate Principal Terms and 26 August 2013 to 14 August 2014 (Breach 4) in relation to Statement of Renewal letters.
  • SLC 7.6A© – Terms of Contracts and Deemed Contracts – These provisions state that a deemed contract must not require a customer to give any form of notice before they are able to change supplier, and were breached for the period 23 October 2013 to 9 June 2014 (Breach 5).
  • SLC 14 – Non-Domestic Customer Transfer Blocking – These provisions state that a licensee must not prevent a Proposed Supplier Transfer except in accordance with certain specific provisions, one of which being that the licensee’s Contract with that customer allows the licensee to prevent the transfer. Contract is a defined term within SLC 1 and the definition states that a Contract does not include a Deemed Contract. This SLC was breached for the period 14 November 2012 to 9 June 2014 (Breach 6).
  • Regulations 4 and 5 of the CHSRs. These regulations place requirements on regulated providers in relation to handling consumer complaints, and were breached for the period 1 January 2013 to 31 October 2014 (Breach 7).

BES admitted that it breached the relevant conditions and requirements set out above and co-operated with the Authority’s investigation. BES made improvements in those areas which were the subject of this investigation.

 

 

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-and-consumer-complaints-handling-standards-regulations-chsr-2008

 

 

BES utilities have previously come onto this forum in denial and also to assure us of their best intentions regarding their customers.

 

I wonder if they have the bottle to come onto this forum now and to apologise and to explain to their victims what the next step is.

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BES Utilities are the worst company in Britain quite possibly the world

 

They conned us using their supposedly independent broker Energy Search which have now been proved not to be independent

 

They harassed us with non stop calls, fabricated fictitious rates to make BES Utilities appear the best option,

told us all commercial properties had to have 5 year contracts .

 

Luckily we found a website called 0lly.uk on Google. they are the most helpful people in dealing with BES

and have a brilliant form to fill in that gets results!

Thank God for good people, they helped us through the terrible ordeal

 

when we complained to BES about the brokers lies they were rude and dismissive.

they gave us a edited recorded version of the contract call.

 

 

they denied all knowledge of the broker address and contact details.

they passed us around different departments and employees.

 

 

they purposely took ages to answer our serious concerns to prolong our eventual release from the contract.

they never revealed any broker details and still kept calling to try and re con us!

 

They got solicitors to send us threatening letters demanding payments for unproven usage

and a lawyer sent us off the record emails threatening us with legal action for pointing out their many failures and breaches.

 

they are still calling us to this day with the same con and telecoms as well.

 

There is no chance on earth they will contact all the customers the have conned to sort it out.

 

Plus the £670,000 goes into a fund they set up to help businesses! absolutely ridiculous.

 

 

they con the money from small businesses then you have to go to their fund to get the money back they are conning from you!!!!!

Edited by RMRM
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I have been following a few of these forums since I heard about the Ofgem report.

 

 

It is beggars belief the fine is so low, and that they were not fined for billing issues!

 

In our case,

we got out of the BES contract, which were conned into through a company called 'National Utilities'.

 

 

We later found out this was a 'trading name' for Commercial Energy Limited,

which like every other 'independent' broker BES use, is owned by Lee Qualter.

 

 

We were far from happy with our BES contract for a number of reasons, and were furious to learn Mr Qualter has such a close friendship with BES owner Andy Pilley.

 

 

Particularly when their 'legal team' claimed this was an independent broker whose contract they took in 'good faith'.

 

 

We also used the 0lly website, printed out every single page relating to BES and got out of our contract, although it cost us over £4,000 in Solicitors fees.

 

We wrote about BES on ComplaintsBoard, to voice our true account of BES,

and then were threatened by their lawyers claiming what we said was libelous!

Another £500 wasted on a Solicitor, to tell us BES had no case.

 

It's safe to say we're VERY happy to see Ofgem do something about BES!!

 

 

We're now looking to have our legal costs repaid be them!

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  • 2 weeks later...

As one of the nastiest and spiteful companies around. I have lost my business along with a small fortune because bes acted in all the ways possible to cause harm.

They actually have the Gaul to force bankruptcy on me this month for £7k approx even though I am due compensation as directed by the ofgem findings probably for more than they are claiming I owe them.

A truly venomous company.

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  • 5 months later...

Avoid this awful company at all costs. BES Utilities and their so called "3rd party" brokers tricked me into a 5 year contract by lying and impersonating the account manager at my energy provider by name, which I had foolishly told them thinking it would get them off my back.

 

After a really stressful month of communicating with the downright insolent staff at BES Utilities, trying to escape their fraudulently obtained contract, I was happy to pay a £400 termination fee which they offered as "a gesture of goodwill". They had initially demanded 5 years of estimated usage and had already estimated about 10 times the actual useage on our first bill.

 

That was 3 years ago and now they've been fined by OFGEM and I have my money back but despite that it seems nothing has changed and it's business as usual at BES Utilities. It's outrageous and they should be shut down.

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