HC Deb 18 October 2001 vol 372 cc1278-9W
Ms Oona King

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her answer of 20 July 2001,Official Report, column 584W, to the hon. Member for Nottingham, South (Mr. Simpson), on energy, if she will ask the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets to compile a report on the doorstep selling practices of gas and electricity suppliers. [8075]

Mr. Wilson

The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) monitors the performance of gas and electricity suppliers in all areas of marketing and sales, including doorstep selling. Where necessary it will take formal action against individual suppliers. However, in comparison with the high volume of transfers, consumer complaints about direct selling are relatively low. Between January and June 2001, the Gas and Electricity Consumer Council—Energywatch—received an average 0.67 per cent. complaints per 1,000 gas supply transfers and 0.63 per cent. per 1,000 electricity supply transfers. Nonetheless, given the distress that mis-selling can cause, I will shortly write to gas and electricity suppliers setting out my concerns about the negative impacts that mis-selling can have, both on individual customers and on the competitive market as a whole.