Ofgem’s fine for energy supplier E.ON sends a clear warning message that mis-selling won’t be tolerated but it’s “too late” for customers who were mis-sold.
Consumer body Which? believes the “damage to consumer confidence has already been done” – as the £12 million penalty is for breaking sales rules between June 2010 and December 2013.
Ofgem’s investigation found thousands of customers could have been mis-sold on the doorstep or over the phone when they were choosing their energy tariff during that period.
Richard Lloyd, Executive Director at Which? added: “Which? investigations in 2011 found clear evidence that suppliers weren’t giving people the best deal and it’s extraordinary that mis-selling has apparently continued for so long since Ofgem began its own investigation.”
The trade body for the energy industry said it does not condone mis-selling and is working to “put the focus firmly on the customer” as well as regaining their trust.
An Energy UK spokesperson added: “The energy industry is well aware of problems it has had and continues to make great strides in improving standards. The mistakes are being dealt with, doorstep selling has stopped and tariffs are simpler and clearer. The benefits of switching are easy to check with new information on bills so people can readily compare one tariff with another.”
The fine is the largest for an energy supplier to date.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey welcomed the penalty, saying: “It’s right that if energy companies aren’t fair to their customers, then they’re penalised – and their customers benefit.
“That’s why we introduced legislation to ensure Ofgem can take tough action in these cases, including making the company pay compensation to the people affected.”