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npower lowers complaints after Ofgem threat to ban telesales

Energy regulator Ofgem is satisfied that npower has lowered complaints to more acceptable levels and the supplier can continue to make telephone sales


npower has lowered the number of customer complaints following a number of improvements to its customer service procedures.

The supplier reported that the number of late bills being issued to customers has fallen from 280,000 in June, to 62,000 in August. Ofgem had set a maximum target of 100,000 complaints by August, otherwise npower would no longer have been able to carry out telephone sales.

The German-owned energy supplier commented that it would continue work on improving its service offering.

Faulty billing system led to huge rise in complaints

The billing issues first surfaced in 2012, following the introduction of a new IT system. From November 2013 the supplier began receiving three times more complaints than its closest rival.

Ofgem has since launched an investigation into the energy firm and told the supplier that if it did not reduce complaints to 100,000 by August 2014, the company would not be allowed carry out telesales.

According to npower, 98% of households are now being billed on time.

Ofgem: ‘First step to turning round their customer service and billing performance’

Senior Partner for Enforcement at Ofgem, Sarah Harrison said: “This is only a first step to turning round their customer service and billing performance.

“We will monitor their progress and continue our investigation into the reasons why npower’s problems occurred.”

npower deployed 1,400 staff to deal with the billing issues and has said it will continue to work on the problem until complaints drop further. A monthly complaints performance update will also be published on a monthly basis.

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