how customers will be protected
Customers will be protected in a number of ways once the market opens.
One of the advantages of a competitive market is that if you are unhappy with your retailer, you can switch to a new one – depending on the length of your contract.
- If you decide to stay with your existing supplier there is a maximum price (known as a default tariff) they can charge you for a standard level of service – this is known as a deemed contract
- All retailers have to deliver some basic guaranteed standards of service (known as GSS) and they will have to pay you a set amount of money where they fail to meet them
- Retailers will have stick to rules that, for example, mean they must give you clear information in your contract and not mis-sell you services
- When you switch for the first time you will receive a formal contract of the price and services you will receive. This has the same legal protections as any other agreement for the supply of goods and services
The economic regulator (Ofwat) can take action against suppliers who breach the licence terms. For example, Ofwat can impose fines and revoke licences.
If your supplier chooses to exit the market or goes out of business, there will be arrangements to make sure you continue to receive services.