Scottish Power to pay £8.5m to people they've been idiots to

23 October 2013

Energy Regulators have railroaded Scottish Power into coughing up £8.5 million in compensation after they found that the energy firm had misled tens of thousands of households over prices.

Scottish Power had to confess that they had indeed, been luring customers with made-up or unreliable comparisons. Ofgem weren't happy that Scottish Power's door-to-door sales and telemarketing campaigns basically talked a load of cobblers when estimating household consumption and comparing their products to their rivals. Seems that these salesfolk weren't 'adequately monitored' or trained either.

"While there is no evidence that the contraventions were deliberate or wilful, the contravention cannot be regarded as accidental or inadvertent," the regulator said.

Scottish Power chief executive Neil Clitheroe apologised "unreservedly", adding that they'd implemented new controls since the investigation started but will now be paying a nominal fine of just £1. On top of that they'll be paying out £7.5m in payouts (of at least £50 to each household) in fuel poverty on the Warm Homes Discount Scheme and a further £1m will go to those who fell foul of mis-selling. They'll have to apply and they'll get somewhere between £5 and £30.

Of course, it seems that mis-selling is part of the energy companies culture at the moment and with customers increasingly confused by tariffs and the like, once they're signed up, they're not likely to move elsewhere. Even customers who do shop around are still looking at a group of companies that are arbitrarily putting energy bills up by eye-watering amounts anyway.

The whole thing stinks basically.

TOPICS:   Utilities

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