A massive rise in complaints following the installation of a new IT system, ironically intended to help make it easier for customers to register their problems and queries about their energy supplies, has led to the supplier behind it being ordered to pay £3million.
French state-owned EDF Energy saw a 30 per cent rise in the number of complaints it received while it was introducing the new system.
But energy regulator Ofgem decided the measures in place to handle complaints between May 2011 and January 2012 were inadequate, and led to customers facing unacceptably long waiting times when trying to call the firm.
Systems for logging the calls, and the actions taken as a result, also fell short of required standards, Ofgem found.
The company will now pay £3million to charities which advise and help customers struggling with their energy bills, which, said Sarah Harrison, senior Ofgem partner for enforcement, was “a step in the right direction to rebuilding consumer trust."