Hundreds of households can now get a better deal on their gas supply after CMA investigation

HUNDREDS of households can now get a better deal on their gas supply thanks to a massive ruling shake-up.

It's because they've been "freed" from contracts that were restricting them from moving on elsewhere.

That power, of "jumping ship" to another supplier, has been a great asset for plenty of energy customers as they grapple with rocketing costs.

Electricity and gas bills have jumped to eye-watering highs, so experts have urged households to latch onto the best deals they can to help curb costs.

With rising wholesale prices to blame, most suppliers haven't been able to offer much competition though.

But it doesn't help that hundreds of customers have been "stuck" on the priciest of the lot.

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Over 700 households have been cornered on liquified petroleum gas deals that the Competition and Markets Authority had deemed “unlawful”.

The gas supply can be one of the most expensive domestic fuels to get access to.

It's typically used for heating and cooking by people who can't get onto the main UK gas grid though.

And the offending supplier trapping these customers in with the pricey deals, has been named and shamed as BDS Fuels.

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But it's the company's repeat exclusivity contracts that customers were offered that have meant their ability to switch to a new provider was very heavily restricted.

Now though, they can shop around for a better cheaper deal thanks to the consumer watchdog stepping in.

The CMA found BDS Fuels had unlawfully used a clause that automatically renewed customers' contracts despite them not choosing to stick.

That meant they were forced to continue their ties with the provider or risk paying a hefty exit penalty.

They previously had to cough up £350 to get-out of the contract and change providers.

The company has now revoked the clause thanks to the CMA intervention so customers can leave from now, without being charged.

At the same time it has removed any of the automatic renewal clauses from its contracts that meant customers rolled-over unlawfully.

And going forward it has set out to provide information to customers annually that clearly details how they can cancel their contract and switch providers.

BDS had also agreed to refund any customers who had already forked out for the exit fee.

Hundreds of customers in Cumbria, North Lancashire, and North Yorkshire will be affected by the change.

Adam Land, from the CMA, said: “We are facing a cost-of-living crisis meaning it’s more important than ever that people can shop around and choose the best possible deal for them.

“If we find evidence of businesses preventing this, we won’t hesitate to step in – as we have with BDS Fuels.”

BDS Fuels declined to comment.

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The CMA has said it will continue to monitor BDS to make sure it does take the action it promised though.

And if that agreement is broken then it could launch enforcement action.

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