MoneySavingExpert.com is warning people across the UK that we are in no way associated with energy cold-callers representing a company called Money Expert.
We are aware of a number of instances in which Money Expert cold-callers have knocked on doors in an attempt to flog various energy products and in some cases this has led to confusion that MSE is involved.
This is not the case. MSE is a consumer help website, here to fight your corner. We don't in any way, shape or form take part in – or frankly even endorse – the practice of cold calling (which is why it's especially galling to be mistaken for a company that does).
More worryingly still, there have been as yet unconfirmed reports that certain cold callers have been mentioning MSE founder Martin Lewis's name when trying to persuade homeowners to switch their energy provider.
Martin says: "This company (Money Expert) is nothing to do with MoneySavingExpert and nothing to do with me. I'm not a fan of energy cold-callers of any variety – the right way to do it is to do a full market comparison, not have someone trying to flog products at your door. So it is more than a little galling to have people think I'm behind this.
"And if the unconfirmed reports that some cold callers are using my name is true, it's a dirty, disgusting attempt to confuse and mislead people, taking advantage of the name similarity.
"Yet regardless of that, and whoever the firm is trying to get you to switch energy on your doorstep, the best thing to do is just politely decline..
"Plus why not download one of our free 'No Cold Callers!' signs to put on your door? Then if any firm still has the gall to knock, just point to that and politely close the door on them."
We were originally contacted about this by Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy, who had questioned the presence of cold callers in her constituency. We investigated and found that Money Expert had been door-knocking in the area.
We've since had a number of people contact us about the cold calling:
@MartinSLewis does your company coldcall at the door? Just had someone around with and pretty sure they had mse badge???— Victoria Doris (@VicDoris) April 19, 2016
Not impressed by Money Expert sending a rep to encourage switching utility suppliers at our doorstep and pretending it's just a consultation— Sufiya Patel (@sufiyapatel) March 28, 2016
Responding to a post on Martin's Facebook page warning that Money Expert is nothing to do with MoneySavingExpert, some users claimed they'd had cold callers mention Martin's name.
Liz said: "I had this at my door a few weeks ago. As soon as I heard [Martin's] name I knew it was a load of crap, as you don't put your name to anything like that."
Kathryn said: "I had someone at the door today. I never do anything at the door anyway but was saddened by his lack of knowledge for something he was supposedly 'selling'. He was however name-dropping Martin Lewis. Cold calling should be made illegal!"
Meanwhile, it's also emerged that Money Expert has drawn the attention of energy regulator Ofgem in recent weeks.
We contacted Money Expert and Ofgem following a complaint from one Walthamstow resident, Clem, in which she claimed that a cold caller who had been knocking on various doors in her neighbourhood "had Ofgem branding on everything he was wearing/carrying".
We notified Ofgem and were told it had got in touch with Money Expert to request it remove the 'Ofgem confidence' branding that the company's door-knockers carry. Money Expert has told us it has complied with the request.
Get in touch
If you encounter a company – or an individual representing a company – that appears to be imitating or claiming to be MSE please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This way we can try to stop it happening in future.