Energy regulator Ofgem has warned npower that it must resolve billing issues by August this year if it is to avoid fines and a ban on telephone sales.
The energy supplier has been accused of billing many of its customers incorrectly and failing to provide 400,000 invoices on time. Ofgem has said this number must fall to 350,000 by the end of June, 200,000 by the end of July and 100,000 by the end of August.
In Ofgem’s words: “Failure to meet monthly targets will result in npower ceasing all proactive telesales to new and existing customers until they are met.”
npower continues to top complaints table
The news follows a Citizens Advice study which found npower was the most-complained about supplier in 2013. According to the research, the German owned supplier received 253 complaints per 100,000 customers.
In contrast, SSE was the least complained about provider with 32 complaints per 100,000 households.
‘Billing issues are one of consumers’ biggest gripes’
Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch, said: “Billing issues are one of consumers’ biggest gripes with the industry. We recently found that a fifth of households have been billed incorrectly by energy suppliers in the last year, and companies are taking longer than ever to resolve complaints.
“More and more consumers are switching suppliers, not just for a better deal, but also in response to bad customer service, so it’s vital that energy companies put customers at the heart of what they do.
“It is encouraging to see that npower’s recovery plan is delivering improvements, but we encourage them to do more.”