Scottish Power fined £18m over customer service failings
Big 6 energy supplier agrees to pay an £18million fine.
Ofgem’s investigation into Scottish Power’s poor customer service processes has lead to the Big 6 energy supplier agreeing to pay an £18million fine.
Energy regulator Ofgem has said that Scottish Power had failed to treat customers fairly after they received more than 1million complaints between June 2013 and December 2015. Scottish Power were also criticised by Ofgem for the way complaints were handled and resolved.
The punishment is the third-largest handed to a supplier by Ofgem. Last year, the regulator imposed a £26million fine on npower, which again was related to customer service issues in the form of inaccurate billing and failing to deal with complaints appropriately.
Ofgem chief executive, Dermot Nolan, released the following statement:
“Scottish Power let its customers down during the implementation of a new IT system. When things went wrong, it didn’t act quickly enough to fix them. This created frustration and worry for many customers, who also wasted a lot of time trying to contact the supplier by phone.
“The £18m payment sends a strong message to all energy companies about the importance of treating consumers well at all times, including while new systems are put in place.”
Mark Todd, co-founder of energyhelpline.com comments :
“Today is a victory for every energy consumer who deserves to get a good level of service for the price they pay. The fine is huge, the third largest imposed by the regulator, following NPower’s £26 million penalty for inaccurate bills last December. Scottish Power failed to handle calls, resolve complaints or deliver bills to a satisfactory standard. Over a million complaints were recorded over a two and a half year period.
Families deserve the right to an energy provider who bills correctly and handles complaints quickly and efficiently. These fines must act as warning signs to fellow suppliers. Poor customer service will not go unnoticed and will result in consumers looking for a superior level of service elsewhere.
“Customer service varies dramatically across energy suppliers. But consumers do not have to put up with it. If suppliers are not holding up their side of the bargain and delivering a service that justifies their prices, just switch.”
“At energyhelpline, we give suppliers a star rating based on official statistics on customer service so you can give yourself a better chance of getting good service by picking a 4 or 5 star supplier.”