Commenting on the establishment of a new combined consumer watchdog, Consumer Focus, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“We bid a very cautious welcome to the new consumer watchdog. A strong body that deals with complaints about energy companies and the postal service is vital but we are disheartened by the lack of any real assistance for business.

“Consumer Focus’ remit does not cover businesses meaning the 30,000 complaints from companies to Energywatch and 7,000 to Postcomm will no longer be handled.

“With the economy slowing and energy bills on the rise, it is totally unacceptable that hard pressed businesses are left without any assistance.

“We have previously outlined our real concerns that within the energy market, businesses, especially smaller firms, are faced with contracts that lack transparency and provide little information with which to compare the market. Often businesses are simply rolled over into new contracts without their knowledge.

"It is important that the new body gets to work and immediately sets out a plan to assist the many thousands of businesses that will now be left in the cold.”