Insights Into The Activities of Rogue Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs)
Wednesday 7 th August 2019
Source : Newsletter from the Utilities Intermediaries Association (UIA) www.uia.org.uk
A rogue TPI contacted one of our members last week, claiming to be calling on behalf of British Gas Metering Department under the premise that the TPI needed to issue a termination notice for their client. The ‘supplier’ then asked the TPI to confirm the date, duration and supplier name for the new contract, claiming that was necessary for their records. When the member refused to give them any information and asked the ‘supplier’ to confirm their details, they simply hung up.
The same member had a rogue TPI approach one of their customers claiming to be them. They told the customer that there was a problem with the recently agreed contract, and got the customer to agree (verbally) to a new contract with an alternative supplier. The member is now involved in an in depth investigation with both the suppliers and the customer in order to resolve the situation.
In another incident, a member’s customer was called by 'EDF Meter Updating Department' and asked to provide account details so that a ‘technical issue” could be resolved concerning the meters. Thankfully, the customer was suspicious and contacted their TPI.
And, Peritus was contacted last week by a caller pretending to conduct a 'satisfaction survey' of energy suppliers.
Needless to say we were immediately alerted!
The caller’s first question concerned naming our current energy supplier and the duration of our contract? Hardly anything to do with a ‘satisfaction survey.’
Advice to clients: Unfortunately, there are a number of completely unscrupulous businesses operating in an unregulated market. The purposes of these calls is to obtain contract information that can be used later. To mitigate against such actions happening, be cautious when handling an unsolicited call, do not divulge any specific information and ask the caller to confirm any request by email so that you can authenticate their credentials. If they refuse to cooperate, hang up. Where possible, record the conversation and alert any implicated supplier. Tell your broker and/or the UIA – we are all happy to get involved on your behalf, and the UIA keeps a dossier of all rogue broker incidents. Where where there is sufficient evidence, the UIA will take up with both the supplier and Ofgem.
Be very aware of calls relating to meters, there really is no reason for a supplier to call.