British Gas wing fined £5.6m by Ofgem
They'd also failed to give some companies any notice that their contract was due to end, which meant that customers weren't able to shop around for a better deal.
The arm of British Gas has already paid out around £1.3m to affected firms, but has a further £3.45m to pay into an energy efficiency fund, as well as a £800,000 penalty. If British Gas Business hadn't co-operated with investigations, the fine would have been much more.
Ofgem found that the company had been pulling a fast one for five years, which seem to be down to a fault in their computer systems.
"The ability for consumers to switch easily and fairly is key to a well-functioning energy market," said Sarah Harrison, Ofgem's senior partner in charge of enforcement. "In these cases British Gas Business failed these consumers who were wrongly blocked from switching, many of them small businesses, and denied others the chance to switch to a better deal at the end of their contract."
The managing director of British Gas Business, Stephen Beynon, said: "We’re sorry these errors occurred and have worked swiftly to change our computer systems and processes, putting controls in place to stop this happening again. We take any failure to meet our obligations very seriously and will ensure that the new energy efficiency fund we have set up will be a real help to hundreds of small businesses"