Gas and electricity Updated:
Scottish Power has been ordered to pay its customers a total of £8.5 million in penalties, after an Ofgem investigation into its doorstep and telephone selling practices found them to be "misleading".
Ofgem found that Scottish Power failed to adequately train and monitor staff which led to customers being misled during sales approaches, with around 140,000 customers on the "warm home discount" scheme being due redress.
The regulator accepts that there was no strategy to deliberately mis-sell to consumers, but has warned other suppliers not to follow suit: "Today's announcement is a clear signal to energy suppliers of the consequences of breaching licence obligations," said Sarah Harrison, Ofgem's senior partner in charge of enforcement.
Scottish Power will pay £7.5 million to the customers signed up to the scheme, estimating that they'll receive about £50 each, and has also set up a £1 million customer compensation fund for those who feel they've been mis-sold to.
The energy giant has also apologised for the errors, which were made between 2009 and 2012, and has since stopped its doorstep selling policy and has implemented routine checks on the conduct of its telephone agents. It's due to write to the 336,000 people who could be in-line for compensation.
Scottish Power has responded to the news: "We accept Ofgem's findings and we apologize unreservedly to those customers affected. This arose as a result of new regulations which were introduced in 2009. I am sorry to say that we didn't implement these properly at that time … Since 2011 we have taken determined steps to resolve the problem," they said.
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