Npower pay £26m for customer service failings
Our chums over at npower are getting fined again, this time being hit with £26m for sending out late, and frequently inaccurate bills. They've not been handling complaints properly either. We can't remember a time they were doing it correctly.
Ofgem said that over 500,000 customers had been affected, and many of them had suffered "significant distress and worry," hence the level of the fine.
This is the largest settlement that has been agreed between Ofgem and one of the energy suppliers that make up 'The Big Six'. The money from the fine will be given as compensation to some of the customers worst affected by the company, and to charity.
Ofgem noted that, once again, a lot of npower's problems came about after they introduced a new IT system. However, they brought that in way back in 2011, which means they really should've got a handle on it by now. There's no excuse for the fact that, between September 2013 and December 2014, npower issued over 500,000 late bills.
Over 2 million complaints were made to npower during this period, angering customers further by pursuing debts for bills that were sent out with incorrect information on in the first place. Given that they also made a hash of the complaints they did receive, leaving many unresolved, that only caused more trouble for customers.
Dermot Nolan, Ofgem chief executive said: “npower failed its customers. Not only have its billing and complaint handling procedures been chaotic, it treated many of its customers poorly, which is completely unacceptable.”
“The payment of £26m sends a strong message to the industry that we expect them to act quickly and effectively to ensure a good customer experience.”
Npower apologised, and Simon Stacey, npower’s head of domestic markets said: “We are very sorry about what has happened and that is why we have agreed this significant package of customer redress.”