Npower, the leading energy firm, has been fined £2 million by Ofgem for mishandling customer complaints.
The company were accused of carrying out a breach of industry regulations, which set the standards for the way that energy companies treat complaints from their customers. Npower has now taken action to improve how it deals with customer complaints.
However, this is not the first time that an energy company has come under fire from the energy regulator.
Ofgem is clamping down on the UKís leading energy firms as British Gas was fined £2.5 million in July for the same breach of regulations. Ofgem is also currently investigating EDF Energy for the way it handles customer complaints.
Sarah Harrison, Ofgemís Senior Partner for Sustainable Development, said; ìConsumers have a right to expect that energy companies will comply with the standards. Npower failed to do so and although it took remedial action, it has incurred a penalty for failing consumers.
ìEnergy suppliers now have a golden opportunity to convince consumers that they can be trusted, by getting behind Ofgemís sweeping reforms for the retail market.
ìThis is the quickest way of restoring consumer trust in an industry badly tarnished by poor supplier behaviour.î
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The energy watchdog is proposing a new wave of reforms, which will break down complex tariffs and reduce the ëstranglehold of the Big Six energy suppliersí on the electricity market.
Ofgem is calling for a ëno frillsí format where each supplier will only have one standard tariff per payment method, per fuel. Consumers are currently used to a system of automatic rollovers at the end of a contract. However, under the new reforms this will be banned. There will then be a specific end date with fixed terms and conditions for the consumer.