npower fined £26mn for customer service failures
Big Six supplier npower has been fined £26mn by the energy industry regulator
Big Six supplier npower has been fined £26mn by the energy industry regulator Ofgem for various customer service breaches. The failings include late and often inaccurate billing as well as failing to tackle customer complaints in a timely and effective manner.
The settlement is the largest handed out by Ofgem, who say the proceeds will be divided between those customers most affected as well as to charitable groups.
After rolling out a new IT system in 2011 the supplier experienced a number of issues that directly affected its billing and complaint resolutions, issuing over 500,000 late bills and receiving more than 2 million complaints between September 2013 and December 2014.
Commenting on the news, Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan said, "npower failed its customers. Not only have its billing and complaint handling procedures been chaotic, it treated many of its customers poorly, which is completely unacceptable. The payment of £26mn sends a strong message to the industry that we expect them to act quickly and effectively to ensure a good customer experience."
The supplier has apologised to its customer base, with Simon Stacey npower's head of domestic markets commenting, "We are very sorry about what has happened and that is why we have agreed this significant package of customer redress."
Customers who were affected will be contacted by the company directly and need take no action themselves.