Underhand tactics of door-to-door salesmen

SIR – Following your article on salesman cold callers we were visited too a couple of weeks ago by a man from Southern Electric. I had just returned from food shopping after work to find him walking towards the front door as I came down the path.

SIR - Following your article on salesman cold callers we were visited too a couple of weeks ago by a man from Southern Electric.

I had just returned from food shopping after work to find him walking towards the front door as I came down the path.

He started with the usual patter before I'd even opened the door and to ensure he made it in through the door he went to my car and collected the rest of my bags! I told him I did not want to change my gas supplier as we had been caught out before as the new supplier had taken over the existing debt and I was now repaying my previous suppliers bill.

He assured me that was not a problem and I said I was happy to transfer my electricity only.


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He brought up the gas a couple of times and both times I was very firm in telling him I did not want to transfer my gas to them.

When I went to sign the application I noticed he had a reading for my gas written down along with the electric.

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I again told him I wasn't transferring the gas and he said 'No, no no that's fine, just the electric'.

He then said I had to speak to his manager on his phone to confirm I was happy with transferring.

This man had now been in my house at least 15 minutes. I was fed up with him and repeating myself, so when I spoke to his manager I guess I wasn't listening as carefully as I should have.

Apparently during this conversation this man asked me if I was happy with their dual-fuel.

I had said yes so that meant I was going to transfer my gas and electric.

Two weeks later I had a call from my current gas supplier saying sorry I was leaving.

I told them I wasn't and explained the situation.

When I contacted Southern Electric I complained about the salesman and I was told I had agreed to dual-fuel on the telephone so that was that.

I expressed my disgust at the underhand way this man had obviously got me to transfer my account and she then went away and came back to tell me they would cancel it.

However, she was very quick to inform me that it should really be going ahead as I had an agreement in place and no apologies were made.

Overall it was a very unpleasant experience with a pushy, untrustworthy individual supposedly with new customers' interests at heart.

Whatever happened to common decency and knowing when to take no for an answer?

Lucy Swinburne,

via email.

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