E.ON is urging all UK energy providers to support its call for an industry-wide end to the process of automatically renewing fixed term contracts for small businesses.
A consultation with customers found that 86 per cent of our small business customers would prefer to negotiate a new contract or move to a more flexible agreement rather than automatically being ‘rolled’ on to a new long-term fixed deal1 which is currently standard practice across the industry.
E.ON’s call – submitted to industry regulator Ofgem – follows major improvements in how the company works with its small and medium-sized business customers; including contract end dates on customer bills, a fair negotiation policy for customers who have missed their renewal window, a commitment to a maximum one-year period for backdated bills and helping to set up an independent code of practice for business energy sales.
These initiatives have been well received by customers with complaints well down and higher levels of engagement and negotiation.
Anthony Ainsworth, Sales and Marketing Director of E.ON UK, said: “The message from small businesses is clear; they want greater simplicity, straight-talking and fair play.
“We know from our own business customer panel and from independent research that the majority of small businesses just don’t like the automatic rollover process and find it too complex which is why we are urging the industry to work together to make things simple and more straightforward.
“If this is going to work the industry and the regulator have to work together and create a level playing field, offering clarity, consistency and simplicity for customers. For any one supplier to act alone risks layering greater complexity on to an already confusing situation.”