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Npower hit with £2m fine for customer failings

Npower hit with £2m fine for customer failings

Category: Gas and electricity

Updated: 31/10/2011
First Published: 31/10/2011

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Npower has been hit with a £2 million fine for failing to properly deal with complaints from customers.

It is the second biggest fine that has ever been dished out by the gas and electricity regulator Ofgem to one of the big six UK firms, after British Gas was told to pay out £2.5 million in July for customer failings.

The regulator is also looking into the way that EDF Energy handles complaints.

Following the investigation by Ofgem it was found that npower had:

  • failed to record all the required details of domestic and micro-business complaints received
  • failed to provide customers whose complaint it could not resolve with some key details about the redress service provided by the Energy Ombudsman
  • failed in some respects to put in place adequate policies and processes for dealing with complaints in an efficient and timely manner.

"Consumers have a right to expect that energy companies will comply with the standards," Sarah Harrison, Ofgem's senior partner for sustainable development, said.

"npower failed to do so and although it took remedial action, it has incurred a penalty for failing consumers. Energy suppliers now have a golden opportunity to convince consumers that they can be trusted, by getting behind Ofgem's sweeping reforms for the retail market.

"This is the quickest way of restoring consumer trust in an industry badly tarnished by poor supplier behaviour."

Ofgem said that npower has addressed and remedied all of its failings.

"The energy industry is one of the least trusted by consumers and people need to see real changes to customer service if this trust is to be rebuilt," Adam Scorer, director of external affairs at Consumer Focus said.

"Energy firms also need to view complaints as essential feedback to help them improve the service they deliver."

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