Scottish Power to cough up £18m for customer service fails
Energy supplier Scottish Power is going to have to pay £18 million for their failings regarding their customer service, which of course, is being blamed on a new computer system they're using.
Ofgem have said that the company have failed to treat customers fairly, which basically means they've not been handling complaints properly, they haven't handled calls very well, and the billing system has been a mess.
Over 300,000 customers received late bills from Scottish Power.
So where is this fine going? Well, this £18 million will be dished out to customers who are considered vulnerable, and to a number of charities.
As well as the fine, Ofgem have said that Scottish Power needs to improve the way they do things, especially concerning customer service. It is worth pointing out that the energy company fully co-operated during the regulator's 18 month investigation.
Even so, this is the third largest penalty that Ofgem have issued. You'll remember that Npower had to cough-up £26 million for their various cock-ups, around Christmas.
Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan said: "Scottish Power let its customers down during the implementation of a new IT system. When things went wrong, it didn't act quickly enough to fix them. This created frustration and worry for many customers, who also wasted a lot of time trying to contact the supplier by phone."
"The £18m payment sends a strong message to all energy companies about the importance of treating consumers well at all times, including while new systems are put in place."
Neil Clitheroe, Scottish Power's head of energy retail and generation, said: "Scottish Power has worked with Ofgem throughout this investigation. We apologise unreservedly to those customers affected."
"In order to upgrade our old IT systems, we invested £200m on new technology to allow us to deliver smarter digital products and services to benefit our customers."
"During the complex transition between systems we encountered a range of technical issues. This led to an unacceptable increase in complaints and reduced the quality of our customer service.
"I gave a guarantee that no customer would be left out of pocket by these issues and we continue to compensate customers who have been affected."