An energy supply company has been fined £1.25 million for using doorstep sellers to "trick" people into switching supplier, according to a local authority, published on MSN Money.
Scottish and Southern Energy was brought to court by Trading Standards officers from Surrey County Council (SCC) after it found that the company's sellers were using misleading sales scripts. It is understood that the fine is the largest ever to have been handed out in a Trading Standards prosecution.
A council spokesman said: "The sellers claimed to have information showing that households were paying too much with their current supplier. In reality they had no such information."
Steve Playle, SCC Trading Standards investigations and enforcement manager, said: "This was a real David versus Goliath battle which resulted in a victory for consumers everywhere. It should send a message to the energy industry that deceptive, misleading and illegal sales tactics are not acceptable. Hopefully this fine will serve as a reminder that no matter how competitive the market, companies cannot lose sight of the law.
Audrey Gallacher, director of energy at Consumer Focus, said: "Firms must not be left to profit at the expense of customers who have been misled. A fine of £1.25 million set by the court sends a very strong message to the energy industry that it must play fair by its customers and get it right on sales."