SSE Loses Appeal in Mis-Selling Case

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Scottish & Southern Energy (LSE:SSE), a “big six” energy company, today lost an appeal against charges that the company had engaged in illegal sales techniques. Three judges at the Court of Appeals in London threw out the plea on the grounds that they “were not convinced that the conviction was unsafe.”

Last May, the Surrey Council on Trading Standards convicted the company on two counts of engaging in misleading commercial practices, the first time a big six energy company had been prosecuted for using unethical sales tactics.  The original conviction claimed that SSE’s salespeople used scripts in order to pitch the company’s services, usually telling prospective customers that they were paying prices higher than SSE’s for their home energy (regardless of whether or not this was true). As a result, SSE, and 4 of the other big six companies have ceased door-to-door sales operations entirely.

“We are very disappointed with the outcome of the appeal. We will now consider our next steps, but it is highly likely we will not see to take this issue any further,” said Stephen Forbes, SSE’s Director of Sales.

“We have also implemented a sales guarantee for household energy customers which will ensure that any customer who shows they switched their energy supply to SSE after being given inaccurate information or being misled will have any resulting financial loss made good,” an SSE spokesman added.

In December, SSE announced that it had set aside £5m in order to compensate customers who had incurred financial losses after falling victim to misleading sales practices.

The Surrey Council on Trading Standards believes that up to 800,000 households may have purchased SSE’s services using the illegal sales techniques.

Company Spotlight

Scottish & Southern Energy is a power generation company providing electricity in Britain from a combination of hydro-electric supply, wind farms, and gas resources generated from its operations in the British Isles as well as in the Netherlands and Sweden.

References
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