November 9, 2019
— Bedding firm gets hit with fraudulent £50k energy “con-tract”
Owners of a bed manufacturer are fuming after discovering they have been placed in energy contracts without their knowledge, they claim.
The multi-million Batley-based company, Dura Beds Ltd, which supplies to bed retailers across the country, is calling on the industry to stamp out such contracts, which it believes was mis-sold to them.
“The industry needs to get its house in order and stop rogue energy brokers fuelling their ill-gotten gains,” said owner Islam Khan.
It was only when the company was due to renew its energy contracts last month that Mr Khan found out a broker he met with over a year ago had falsely placed him in a contract without his permission, he claims.
In September he was shocked to find his energy supply contract costing £35,000 was already moving over to new supplier Corona Energy. And now it was locked in for a whopping 5 years at £282,000 despite insisting he had not sanctioned this.
In July last year Dura Beds was approached by energy broker Great Annual Savings based in Seaham, County Durham to take part in an audit. When the firm insisted it didn’t want to be placed in any contracts, the broker confirmed in person and by email that it would only carry out an audit and no contracts would go live.
Dura Beds signed a letter of authority for the audit only and it called in its contracted energy consultant, Huddersfield-based Inenergy Ltd, after unanswered questions raised concerns. Inenergy’s director Ian Thompson said: “There were no terms and conditions document at the point of sale, the agent couldn’t answer valid concerns and the company was concerned it might end up tied into a contract despite the assurances.
“It turned out the concerns were justified. Yet despite attempts to stop the erroneous transfer, it went through. Now the firm is stuck in a contract that’s £103,000 overpriced.”
He said a complaint raised with Watford-based Corona Energy remains unanswered.
“Numerous calls have been made but to no avail,” said Mr Thompson. “We found out the contract was submitted on the same day the authorisation was signed and withdrawn. Great Annual Savings do not appear to have acted in the best interests of the company.
“No comparison prices were provided and they were placed into a contract without their knowledge or any market research.
“We have all the emails where the broker insists he will not put the company into an energy contract.
“A small number of suppliers need to stop turning a blind eye to potential unethical activity in the industry.
“It is possible for brokers to work in the industry and still uphold ethical values in terms of how you conduct your business and not have to turn over your customers like this.”
And to further rub salt into the wound, according to Mr Thompson the contract with Corona is over £103,000 above market rates.
Zak Akudi, Dura Beds Ltd
Ian Thompson, Inenergy Ltd, 07545 128978
Evidence of emails and contracts available on request