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Switch safely

Switch safely

Spring fever! Electricity consumers are hunting for a fresh new deal. The switching process is well underway. Utilities Disputes, the approved dispute resolution service for electricity and gas, has advice for potential switchers.

"There is no doubt that switching promotes competition, places importance on services, and increases consumer options," says Utilities Disputes Commissioner Nanette Moreau. "We have identified some questions that-if asked by consumers intending to switch-will assist both providers and consumers."

Nanette maintains that simple precautions can save hundreds of dollars. She suggests that you ask your current provider:

1.What is the final date of the current contract?
2.Is there a break fee?
3.What is the amount of the break fee? If high, you may not end up saving as much as you want with a new provider.
4.Can they offer you a better plan?
Ask the new provider:
1.What is the term of the contract?
2.Will it roll over automatically?
3.Is there a break fee for ending the contract?
4.What pricing plan are you on (there are often several) and is it the right one for you?
5.What are the payment options?

Then read the new contract carefully to confirm all agreed terms are present.

"By asking questions, receiving answers you are happy with, and reading the contract in full before you sign, you will benefit most when switching providers," says Nanette. "Switch safely, and if you run into any problems, first call your provider. If problems remain, contact us. We are here to help. Enjoy spring!"

About Utilities Disputes

Utilities Disputes provides the approved, free and independent dispute resolution service for electricity, gas, and access to shared property for broadband installations. Utilities Disputes has handled over 60,000 cases (enquiries and complaints) since 2001. Most complaints that come to Utilities Disputes are resolved between the parties. Utilities Disputes uses a wide range of techniques, including mediation and conciliation, in dispute resolution. The office can be reached at 0800 22 33 40 or

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