Ofgem has hit ScottishPower with a sales ban for failing to meet the regulator’s targets on handling customer complaints.
The Big Six supplier will not be allowed to engage in “proactive sales” for 12 days starting today.
Ofgem’s investigation found the energy company’s customers were experiencing long call waiting times and receiving late bills.
ScottishPower failed to clear up all outstanding Energy Ombudsman decisions regarding customer complaints,
More than 2,000 customers will continue to receive free energy until the issues are resolved, Ofgem said.
Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s Senior Partner in charge of enforcement added: “A sales ban illustrates the difficulties ScottishPower is having in delivering the levels of service customers deserve. While Ofgem’s targets have driven significant improvements in ScottishPower’s performance, we remain very concerned about how customers are being treated.
“As well as our ongoing investigation, we require ScottishPower to undertake an independent audit of its progress on improving customer service.”
Suppliers have a maximum of eight weeks to resolve a customer’s complaint. If they are not successful, consumers can complain to the Energy Ombudsman, which can order the company to correct the problem, explain what happened and has the power to award compensation to the customer of up to £10,000.
Neil Clitheroe, CEO of ScottishPower – Retail & Generation said the company is “committed to delivering the best service possible and treating our customers fairly”.
He added the process of moving to a new £200 million customer management system has resulted in service problems for customers.
Mr Clitheroe said: “We are determined to put this right. We continue to correct problems, pay appropriate compensation and ensure no customer is left financially disadvantaged.”