Npower, one of the UKs big six energy firms, have been handed a £2 million fine for breaching customer complaint regulations.
An investigation found Npower had failed to record, not only, all of the required details regarding complaints from homeowners and small businesses but issues were also found with the efficiency of complaint handling in the investigation lead by Ofgem.
“Consumers have a right to expect that energy companies will comply with the standards,” said Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s senior partner for sustainable development. “ Npower failed to do so and although it took remedial action, it has incurred a penalty for failing consumers.”
In response to the fine, an Npower spokesman said: “A small number of processes were not correctly adhered to. Ofgem is now satisfied that all problems have been rectified and we are fully compliant with our obligations to our customers. We have zero tolerance for this type of issue and we will continue to work hard to make sure our customers are put first.”
The latest fine has been followed by a previous caution given to Npower but also to British Gas who were fined £2.5 million for similar breaches in the summer. Ofgem are also looking into the complaints handling of EDF Energy taking the toll to three of “the big six” which poses the question; why can’t any of these essential suppliers handle it correctly?
“This is the second of the Big Six to be fined this year for problems with handling customer complaints, and another is under investigation,” said Adam Scorer, director of external affairs at Consumer Focus, a consumer rights group. “Customers need to be confident that suppliers will deal with their complaint quickly and fairly and that there will be consequences when they don’t play fair.”