Switching problems

I've been switched to you by mistake (an erroneous transfer)

Switching energy suppliers is usually straightforward. Sometimes, however,  an energy supplier tries to take over the energy supply of a property by mistake. This is called an erroneous transfer, and it happens in around 1% of switches.

If it happens to you, we know it’s frustrating and we’re sorry for the hassle. We’ll work quickly with the other supplier to things sorted out. You’ll continue to be supplied with energy, and you’ll pay only for the energy you use.


Erroneous transfers usually happen for one of four reasons:

  • Human error, e.g. accidentally selecting the wrong address, usually a neighbour's, when signing up
  • The details of your meter details on the national energy database (used by all energy suppliers) are wrong, or bits are missing. This tends to be more common with flats and new-build properties
  • You change your mind and cancel during the 14 day cooling-off period, but we couldn’t stop the switch in time
  • In rare cases, your details may have been used fraudulently to apply for a switch


If we've taken over your supply by mistake, we'll put things right

If we've taken over your supply by mistake, we're sorry. Let us know, and we’ll switch you back to your old supplier. This usually takes 20 days, but in some cases it may take longer.  In the meantime, your old supplier will continue to bill you for energy as normal, just as if nothing had happened. There won't be any charge from us.

Or, if you want to stay with People’s Energy, we’d love to have you. Let us know and we’ll get you signed up.


If you've been switched away from us, we'll work to get you switched back

If you receive an email from us saying ‘We’re sorry to see you go’, but you didn't sign up with another supplier, please let us know. It may be that another energy supplier is attempting to take over your supply by mistake. If we find out early enough, we can stop the switch so the sooner we know, the better.

If we can’t stop it and the switch goes through, we’ll ask the other supplier to switch your supply back to us. It should be sorted within 20 working days, but may take longer  back over to us, as we’ll need the agreement of the other supplier first.

You won't need to pay the supplier who has taken over your energy by mistake anything. We’ll continue to bill you as normal, as if the switch never took place

You can find more information on erroneous transfers at the Citizens Advice Bureau


The Erroneous Transfer Customer Charter  

The process outlined above is regulated by the government's industry regulator Ofgem, in the Erroneous Transfer Customer Charter. It lays out what energy suppliers must do, and when, so that your interests are protected throughout. 


The 1.4 Erroneous Transfer Customer Charter (ETCC) is as follows:

1. If a customer believes that they have been erroneously transferred then they can contact either their old or new supplier. The contacted supplier will liaise with the other supplier to resolve the matter. 

2. An appropriately trained representative of the contacted supplier should explain to the customer:

  • What action will be taken
  • When they can reasonably expect to be transferred back to their original
  • supplier
  • That they will only pay once for the energy consumed and where possible,
  • How their billing arrangements will be treated
  • How they will be kept informed of progress towards resolution
  • On request, how complaints will be resolved and, where appropriate, how compensation claims will be dealt with.

 3. The contacted supplier will send written confirmation of the details provided above within five Working Days of the customer contact. Where possible the supplier will include an explanation of why the erroneous transfer took place.

4. The customer will be provided with confirmation within 20 Working Days of their initial contact that they will be returned to their old supplier.


Find out more about the Guaranteed Standards for Switching.