New report claims tens of thousands were hit by bungled supplier switches

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A new report has claimed 'tens of thousands' of UK households have fallen victim to bungled switches, which have consequently resulted in errors such as double billing and even some homeowners being moved to a new provider without consent.

The Telegraph article explains many of these errors are down to incorrect information being stored on national databases.

It claims a number of its readers had written to complain of bungled bills including the prospect of paying hundreds of pounds on two energy bills from different firms following a switch, and energy bills with no correlation to the meter readings submitted.

Department of Energy & Climate figures show more than 5.5m householders switched supplier in 2012, with the figure for switching errors at 0.7%.

Although this is a very small percentage, The Telegraph report suggests this equates to more than 40,000 incorrect transfers in 2012, and suggests this situation will more than likely only have gotten worse in 2013.

Regardless of The Telegraph estimates, the Energy Ombudsman has witness a huge increase in complaints over switching provider. In fact, the figure has doubled within a year - making incorrect transfers the second most common complaint it received.

In total, the number of switching complaints went up from 1,032 in 2012 to a staggering 2,162 in 2013, with 512 "erroneous transfer" complaints.

Lewis Shand Smith, the chief ombudsman, said: "At a time when things are tough for consumers, it's disappointing to see a rise in complaints about the difficulties of switching energy tariffs when they are trying to achieve greater value for money."

A spokesman for Energy UK has defended the energy suppliers however, pointing out the number of people to successfully switch supplier.

He said: "Around a million people switched energy supplier in November and December 2013, proving that it is simple to do.

"The energy industry is committed to making it even quicker and easier so customers get the best deal possible."

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