Calls claiming to be a retailer

If you suspect that you have received a call from a company claiming to be a retailer, who is offering you a contract with them. It’s important to try and establish whether they are a genuine retailer. You can do this by:

  • Checking whether they are registered on Open Water, where all licensed retailers’ details can be found.
  • Contact the industry regulator, Ofwat, to see whether they can confirm the company is licensed to operate in the retail market.
  • If you have established they are a genuine retailer, you can check out our retail market performance page or our latest annual Non-Household complaints report, to see the best and worst performers based on complaints received by us. This may help you decide whether to switch.
  • Do your own research to see what other customers are saying about the company who has called you.
  • If your business has under 10 employees, and you have agreed to a contract that you wish to cancel, you have seven days from the day that you receive the terms and conditions of your supply agreement (either in writing, or the call recording of your conversation) to cancel.

Calls claiming to be a Third Party Intermediary (TPI) or broker

These are organisations and individuals that offer paid-for advice and information which may help you buy water for your business, and broker a deal with a water retailer. There is no approved list of these organisations, but the following may help if you have been contacted:

  • If your business has under 10 employees, you are entitled to a cooling off period of 14 days.
  • Ask for any agreement to be confirmed in writing (a genuine TPI will not have an issue doing this). If the written information is different from what has been discussed on the phone, you should cancel on the grounds you have been mis-sold, which the TPI should agree to without penalty.
  • There are other principles for a voluntary code of practice which TPIs are expected to follow.
  • Do your research to see what others are saying about the company. It’s best not to proceed if there are stories that the company is not genuine, or have mis-sold their services.
  • If someone has mis-sold you a contract, you should report the company to either your local Trading Standards Authority, or the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA).
  • You can register with the Telephone Preference Service to eliminate a lot of cold calls.