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According to a new poll commissioned by Ombudsman Services, many feel like they do – the survey of more than 600 firms shows nearly a third of SMEs think they get an unfair deal when buying and using energy and other essential services compared to residential customers – this is compared to 26% that feel they get a fair deal.

Only a fifth believe they are adequately shielded from ‘unfair practices’ from some providers, brokers and price comparison websites, with nearly double this proportion fearing they lacked suitable protection – 41% felt they would benefit from additional support in sorting out disputes with providers.

A tenth of SMEs questioned said they had previously experienced poor service or unfair treatment when finding and using energy deals, with this figure at 17% and 5% for the telecommunications and water markets respectively.

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