Utilities provider npower has been hit with a £2m fine by regulator Ofgem after being found to have consistently mishandled customer complaints.
An investigation by the industry watchdog revealed npower had not kept adequate records of consumers’ queries, nor had it provided details of the Energy Ombudsman’s redress service. Ofgem, which fined British Gas £2.5m for the same offence in May, said it was also looking into the way EDF Energy deals with complaints.
“We are very sorry, we let our high standards slip on this occasion,” an npower spokesman told BBC News. “A small number of processes were not correctly adhered to. We have zero tolerance for this type of issue and we'll continue to work hard to make sure our customers are put first.”
Ofgem introduced tighter regulations on the handling of customer complaints back in October 2008, but concerns have emerged over their efficacy. Sarah Harrison, the body’s managing director of corporate affairs, warned consumer trust had been eroded by “poor supplier behaviour”.
Last week, consumer campaigning group Which? called on energy firms to make it easier for consumers to get the best deal by simplifying tariffs.