Responding to Ofgem’s £2.5 million fine of British Gas for failures on customer complaints handling, Consumer Focus have praised Ofgem for getting tough on the Big Six and have said that helping customers with their complaints is a good indication of how much companies value them.
Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus, said: “Ofgem’s action against British Gas is welcome. Frustrating the attempts of customers to get complaints sorted out is unacceptable. It adds to the lack of trust in energy companies and it denies British Gas important insight into customer service problems.”
The fine comes as two in five of British Gas customers remained ‘very disappointed’ in the service. As well as household customers, small businesses have received poor customer service from suppliers.
Ms Gallacher said the penalty would serve as a warning to the industry: “This fine must be part of a significant overhaul of the energy market. Most of the big six energy companies are under investigation for one form of poor practice and consumer organisations need to be vigilant if people are to get a fair deal.
“Major questions are still hanging over whether pricing is fair, whether companies mis-sell energy on the doorstep and many others. Ofgem has a big job on its hands, but this is a good sign that it is prepared to step up.”