'Stop doorstep energy sales' - consumer group

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A major consumer group is urging energy suppliers to stop selling tariffs door-to-door.

MPs have already criticised the door-to-door sales techniques used by energy suppliers to sell gas and electricity.

Now Consumer Focus, a major consumer organisation, has joined their plea.

British Gas has already volunteered to halt all its doorstep selling programmes - now Consumer Focus wants other energy firms to follow suit. Scottish and Southern Energy suspended their doorstep sales programme earlier this year after calls from the group.

British Gas is one of the UK's big six suppliers - along with E.ON, Npower, SSE, Scottish Power and EDF Energy.

All of the big six, except EDF Energy, have recently announced price hikes for gas and electricity which are way over the rate of inflation - whilst also announcing huge profits.

The move has raised marked distrust of the energy firms between consumers and MPs, with official Government watchdog Ofgem exploring several of the firms' business practices.

In the latest kickback by consumers, though, Consumer Focus has urged the other big energy suppliers to follow British Gas' lead and end doorstep selling.

Adam Scorer, from Consumer Focus, said most responsible companies alter their practices when consumers complain, and that energy firms should do the same.

"For over a decade cold call doorstep sales have led to hundreds of thousands of people paying more for their energy after switching to a worse deal. We know people strongly dislike doorstep sales, feel pressured to switch at the door and that energy firms don't offer their best rates face-to-face," he said.

"Cold call energy sales simply aren't what customers need or want."

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