EDF Energy told to pay £3m for failing to handle complaints
The energy supplier will make the payment to a Citizens Advice energy scheme, aimed at helping vulnerable customers
The payment follows an investigation, led by energy regulator Ofgem, which revealed a 30% rise in the number of complaints aimed at the energy supplier
The fine follows the problematic installation of a new IT system at EDF Energy in 2011. The new system did not allow the supplier to receive and process customer grievances and consequently led to a 30% increase in the number of customer complaints.
Big six all made payments in past two years
Each of the big six has now been forced to make a payment for failing to act properly in the past two years. The largest came from E.ON, which paid £12m for energy mis-selling, followed by SSE which paid £10.5m, also for mis-selling.
The Ombudsman Service announced that it had received triple the number of complaints regarding energy suppliers in the first quarter of 2014, than during the same period last year.
Ofgem: Time for industry to ‘truly put customers first’
Speaking on the fine, Ofgem’s Sarah Harrison said: “EDF Energy failed to have sufficiently robust processes in place when they introduced a new IT system and this led to the unacceptable handling of complaints.
“It’s now vital for EDF Energy and the industry as a whole to truly put customers first and put adequate resources in place to deal with complaints.”
EDF Energy: ‘Service to our customers was not up to the standards they deserve’
Beatrice Bigois, EDF Energy’s Managing Director of Customers, said: “Despite our best efforts and extensive planning to manage this transition in 2011 without impacting our customers, we recognise that for a period of time the service to our customers was not up to the standards they deserve.”
With regards to the £3m payment, Bigois said that it would ensure “thousands of vulnerable customers are provided with free, independent advice on debt, as well as information to help them manage their energy consumption and bills.”