Hairdressers join legal claim against energy firms

More than 50 hairdressing salons across the UK have joined a £2 billion legal claim aimed at getting compensation from energy giants who are alleged to have paid secret commissions to third-party brokers.

The undisclosed broker commissions which were added onto the unit cost of gas and electricity are said to have falsely inflated energy prices for up to two million businesses and organisations in the UK.

Law firm Harcus Parker is launching group litigation to reclaim these secret commissions from the energy suppliers who paid the money to brokers without customers’ knowledge.

So far, they have 57 claims from hairdressing salons with more being urged to join.

The claims come at a time when hairdressers face a variety of increased costs due to high energy prices, the rise in the price of materials and higher wage costs.

Damon Parker, senior partner at Harcus Parker, said: ‘We’ve been really pleased with the number of hairdressers that have signed up to the claim so far. We understand that hairdressing salons are under a lot of financial pressure at the moment, not just caused by higher energy prices. It seems everyone on the high street is suffering with higher costs. We hope that by helping to return some of these secret energy commissions to businesses it will help ease some of the financial burden. With many claims stretching back several years and energy consumption in hairdressers often quite high, we would expect them to be able to claim back thousands of pounds each. We would urge any hairdressers who have not yet joined the legal action to contact us to see how we can help.’

Harcus Parker has so far signed up more than 2,000 businesses ranging from big manufacturers and high street stores and sports clubs to community organisations, shops, faith groups and charities.

Research conducted by the law firm found that one energy supplier offered brokers as much as 10p/kWh in commissions that were then added to customers’ bills, frequently without their knowledge. A large number of suppliers offered brokers secret commissions of between 1p – 3p/kWh.

Unscrupulous brokers are accused of being more interested in getting themselves the highest amount of commission possible rather than getting the customer the best financial deal.

Who is eligible to make a claim?

To be eligible to enter a claim you should be able to answer ‘Yes’ to the following three questions:

  • Are you a business or organisation that has been supplied your gas or electricity as a non-domestic energy customer?
  • Did you enter into your contract for the supply of gas or electricity in the past 10 years through a third-party introducer or broker?
  • Did the broker and energy company fail to clearly tell you that commission was added onto the unit cost of the gas and electricity that you were charged?

Harcus Parker has set up a dedicated website for those wishing to make a claim: Home – Harcus Parker | Energy Claims (

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