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.
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