SSE to stop making nuisance cold calls
Energy firm SSE is to stop cold-calling consumers after deciding the practice is "unwelcome" and "intrusive".
In future, all SSE's energy supply divisions - Southern Electric, Scottish Hydro and SWALEC - will only contact customers they already have a relationship with or potential customers who have previously agreed to a call.
Will Morris, SSE's group managing director of retail, said: "Nobody likes receiving a sales call out of the blue and so we are stopping it. It doesn't matter that other energy companies still do it, or other industries for that matter, cold calling is not something that a company like SSE - committed to providing an excellent customer experience - should be doing any longer."
In May 2011, SSE was found guilty of misleading potential customers when making doorstep sales and was successfully prosecuted by trading standards. The company's doorstep sales team was found to have been telling customers they were overpaying with their current energy supplier - when they had no knowledge of this.
In 2011, SSE announced it was pulling out of the doorstep sales market, along with all the major energy suppliers.
Responding to SSE's announcement that it will be stopping unsolicited calls, Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director said: "Our research shows the energy industry is one of the main culprits for cold calling, so it's good to see a big supplier commit to ending unsolicited sales calls, and we hope other energy companies will now also stop this nuisance."
Which? has launched a new online complaints tool at which consumers can report nuisance calls and texts. The consumer rights group found that less than a fifth (17%) of consumers officially complain about this menace.
SSE's Morris added: "We want to be a company that sells itself, one that is recognised for being the best in its sector and one that people choose to buy from.
This decision to end unsolicited calls is part of becoming that company and demonstrates that we are dedicated to delivering what customers want."