Ripped off pensioners should be refunded
Today Ofgem announced they are going to look into claims that the charity Age UK has been promoting gas and electricity deals from the Big Six to old age pensioners in return for funding.
A Sun newspaper and The Big Deal investigation found that Age UK's accounts show that it received £6.3m in income from energy deals in the last year. Age UK were offering energy deals from Big Six company E.ON to older people that were more expensive (£245 more) than E.ON's cheapest offer.
As an E.ON customer who got my deal through Age UK I’m outraged to find out i’ve been paying over the odds. I was on an E.ON-Age UK deal until 2013, when I was automatically switched to a standard tariff.
The assumption that I had was that this was the best deal that they could make for people who were living on pensions. It’s really deceptive. Most would assume a tariff done in association with Age UK would be in their best interests.
Energy Minister Amber Rudd MP has said she is “[taking] very seriously this allegation that Britain's pensioners are being misled, so immediately contacted Ofgem who will now investigate this urgently and report back to me.” Labour Energy Minister Lisa Nandy said: “When people have so little trust in energy companies it's important they can trust third parties, like charities, when they offer special deals. The Charity Commission should investigate whether Age UK has broken the rules because it's vital the public can have confidence in the good work charities do."
In the meantime I’m calling on E.ON to refund every misled pensioner.
- E.On UK
- CEO, E.ON UK
You have announced that you will now withdraw the misleading Age UK tariff and replace it with a better deal for older people. That is good news and we thank you for your company's response.
However, it is acknowledgement of the misleading nature of the Age UK tariff. Many older people are not in a good position to 'shop around' for the best deals. They trusted that there would have been a duty of care to ensure their interests were looked after. This is why many were attracted to it. They now find that this was not the case and they have effectively been overcharged. We ask that you now put this right by arranging to refund Age UK E.On customers
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