Ofgem’s investigation shows how Scottish Power failed its customers
Energy industry regulator has today announced its results of a recent investigation into Scottish Power, which found the firm’s billing, complaint resolution and call handling at inadequate levels. As a result of their findings Scottish Power will have to pay out £18m for their failings.
The pay out, which is the third-largest penalty by the regulator, will be paid to vulnerable customers and charity.
Ofgem advised that Scottish Power had failed to treat its customers fairly. More than 300,000 customers received late bills, which resulted in many turning to Citizens Advice for help. In some cases debt collection practices were started by Scottish Power for a bill that didn’t exist or was being paid.
Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy said:
“Scottish Power failed its customers not once but twice.
“Not only did the firm struggle to get people’s bills right first time, it also failed to sort out the problems when customers tried to complain.
“Providing someone with an accurate, timely bill which reflects how much gas or electricity they have used is a fundamental part of running an energy firm. But time and time again we’re seeing big companies introduce new billing systems which leave customers in limbo - with the wrong bill and no way to sort it out.
“Ofgem is right to hand Scottish Power such a large fine and we expect the company to do everything it can to make sure vulnerable customers get the compensation they deserve after receiving such poor service. We also need the industry to start learning the lessons from issues which have caused such misery for consumers.”
The issues that Scottish Power experienced in relation to their billing system were reflected in the Citizens Advice energy complaints league table. On numerous occasions their persistent poor performance put Scottish Power at the bottom of the league table. At one point the energy company had 1,163 complaints per 100,000 customers.
Ofgem advised that Scottish Power had worked with them during the investigation and improved its customer service since the investigation had begun.
Need financial advice?
If you have any personal finance questions related to this news article, then please contact our financial advisers. You can get in touch by asking a question online, calling us on 0800 092 1245, or by arranging a visit.
Have You Protected Your Income?
A survey by the Yorkshire Building Society has laid bare the full hardship which many in the UK will experience if they were ever to lose their jobs. It seems that the vast majority in the UK are totally unprepared for the possibility that they may see their income disappear if they were unable to work. In a nightmare scenario it is forecast that the average Briton would only last 52 days in the...Read More
MPs expenses debacle continues
As the Daily Telegraph promised, further revelations about MPs expenses have been released into the public domain showering yet more shame and disgust on UK political scene. While, as we keep being told, "all expenses are within the rules" there is greater taxpayer fury across the UK than ever before. It seems as though a new wave of political change is hitting the UK after years of secrecy and ex...Read More
Is Asda offering the best value for Christmas?
A report by The Grocer magazine is today suggesting that Asda offers the cheapest "Christmas trolley" with a list of traditional Christmas goods costing £102.08, including turkey, Christmas pudding, champagne, batteries, crackers and cards. While the Asda "Christmas trolley" is £10.29 cheaper than the average of the large five UK supermarkets, the likes of Tesco and Morrisons are not too far beh...Read More
MP perks on the verge of reform
As the anger expressed by UK voters against the massive array of MP perks on offer continues to grow there are signs this evening of a significant shift in this area. David Cameron for one has confirmed that if he was to take the office of prime minister in the UK he would not claim a second home allowance. This is probably aimed at Gordon Brown who, despite having a grace and favour home in Downi...Read More
Alistair Darling warns of risks from oil price rise
Chancellor of The Exchequer Alistair Darling has today commented upon the rising price of oil and the potential to derail any short to medium-term recovery in the UK economy. As the price of "black gold" moves beyond the $73 a barrel level there are serious concerns that the upward momentum could continue for some time to come. There is no doubt that, as we saw earlier in the recession, an increas...Read More