Energy firms use ‘threatening tones’ to receive money owed to them

Some energy suppliers “incorrectly” or “prematurely” involved debt collection agencies, according to Ofgem

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A small number of energy suppliers use a ‘disproportionately strong’ or ‘threatening tone’ while contacting their customers as part of their debt recovery process.

That’s according to Ofgem’s latest Consumer Protection report which suggests some suppliers’ practices do not demonstrate appropriate levels of empathy as it might have been expected from the early stage of the debt recovery process.

The report, which highlights areas of good and poor practice that the energy market regulator has seen across the sector last year, suggests that some examples of energy firms’ communications referenced court action, further administration charges and negative impacts on credit ratings at an inappropriate stage in the debt recovery process.

Ofgem also said there was some indication of energy suppliers “incorrectly” or “prematurely” involving debt collection agencies.

The fluctuation in the total number of customers in debt is also among the key trends stressed in the report.

In 2020, the number of customers repaying an energy debt held relatively steady while during this year the number of customers who were repaying a debt to their supplier increased for both gas and electricity accounts.

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