IT’S nearly 10 years since our gas and electricity markets were opened up to the forces of competition, where we could shop around for the lowest prices.

Predictably, the change in the law was accompanied by the phenomenon of rogue salesman who use dubious tactics to persuade consumers to switch suppliers.

And it’s a problem which is still going on after a decade – as the Examiner reports today.

Huddersfield mother-of-two Clare Preece, 26, complains that an npower salesman who knocked on her door tried to trick her family into changing their gas supply.

She has condemned him as dishonest and bang out of order, a verdict it is hard to disagree with.

The energy company promises that its employee will be retrained as a priority case – which rather begs the question as to what his training was in the first place.

Sadly, it’s not the first case of this type to be reported in our columns and certainly won’t be the last.

It’s six years since Brian Wilson, energy minister at the time, called on companies to do more to rid the industry of unscrupulous methods.

On present evidence, they still have a long way to go to achieve that aim.

More needs to be done, both by the energy firms and the regulatory authorities, who need to take a far tougher line when these instances are brought to their attention..

One reasonable move would be to ban cold-calling on the doorstep.