SSE on the door step: 'I felt like I was taking advantage of a human being'

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Welcome? One former SEE sales person left because 'I felt like I was taking advantage of a human being'
Welcome? One former SEE sales person left because 'I felt like I was taking advantage of a human being' Photo: Kezia Storr/Press Association Images

As the authority, Ofgem, explains in excruciating detail, SSE misled customers again and again about the deals they were being offered.

But we have just spoken to one of those who was actually doing the selling at the time.

He was too ashamed to show face, and left the job after about three months because he found it too uncomfortable as he had to "take advantage of a human being."

He told us how the tactics worked, with salesmen working to a strict script:

You would go to the door and say, ‘we realise you’re on a high energy tariff’ and basically that wasn’t true, we didn’t know what tariff they were on, we didn’t know what company they were, all we knew was their name and address.

And he explained in pretty grim detail how staff were told to use gestures to make it more likely that they would be let in to people’s homes.

Once you got on to the script you were to wipe your feet on the mat and point at their groin, that was in the script in brackets, so they would move out of the way so you could walk into the house.

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SSE Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

He felt the tactics were objectionable: "You were definitely forced to use them…. For people who were elderly or infirm they really couldn’t say no…If felt like I was taking advantage of the customer, I felt like I was taking advantage of a human being."

This former staff member claims there was pressure from the company’s national sales team to deliver sales aggressively.

You would get a phone call every hour to find out how many sales you’d got and then he would get a phone call to the bigger manager in the office to say how many sales you had and then obviously if there wasn’t enough sales the pressure would be brought to bear.

In a statement, SSE says it "does not regard behaviour of the kind alleged as acceptable and is committed to the highest standards possible in sales, backed up by our industry-leading Sales Guarantee."