Martin Lewis has slammed energy firms for charging customers “outrageous” exit fees from fixed charges.
suppliers Charge up to £600 to skip fixed deals, up from £60 a year ago.
money saving specialist The founder branded the allegations – which are 10 times more than last year – as “the final nail in the coffin of the dying energy competition”.
energy firm outfox the market Currently charges £600 to leave his one-year fixed deal, up from a maximum of £67 in June 2021.
Martin Lewis Said: “These massive, outrageous early exit charges are the final nail in the coffin of the dying energy competition.
“Many people are trying to decide whether to fix or not at the moment.
“It doesn’t mean being cheap now, it’s about whether you should pay more now, to stop the huge growth that’s coming in October.”
However, if prices start falling and cheaper deals become available, they will not be able to save by opting out of fixed deals.
Firms charge different exit fees depending on the duration of the deal.
Energy firms are allowed to charge exit fees on fixed-term contracts – but they must be “proportionate,” according to Offgame rules.
They are also not required to publish deals that are offered to existing customers.
Mr. Lewis Said that the “lack of transparency and visibility” makes it easier for firms to charge higher exit fees.
He added: “It’s a pig’s ear and the regulator needs to intervene to change things.”
You can avoid exit charges if you switch within the last 49 days of a fixed term contract.
Consumer Expert Martin James Said: “It is absolutely unforgivable to charge people these jaw-dropping fees for leaving contracts early.
“This is yet another example of poor service from the energy sector trying to cater to people at the worst possible time.”
Some energy firms, including British Gas, do not charge existing customers to switch to new deals.
An EDF spokesperson said: “These are extraordinary times for the energy retail market and each energy supplier is having to make changes to reflect current market conditions, which are extremely volatile.
“This includes revised tariffs and exit charges to ensure that they cover the high cost of purchasing energy upfront for our customers and to protect us as a business if customers choose to waive tariffs. Huh.”
A spokesman for Ofgem said it has a “top priority”. protect consumers.
“We fully expect suppliers to ensure that fees are fair and equitable and that the rules are clear that termination fees are allowed but must be proportionate,” he said.
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