Ofgem’s announcement to fine SSE £10.5 million for breaching its obligations relating to telephone, in-store and doorstep sales activities is a significant step in cleaning up the energy market says Uswitch.com, the independent price comparison switching service.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at Uswitch.com, says: “This is shocking news, especially given the magnitude of the fine. We welcome such a significant move by Ofgem – it is vital that trust is restored in the industry.
“Confidence in the energy market is at an all time low. Customers have lost faith and have no confidence in how to make the market work for them. They have a right to expect fair dealings, but at the moment, when it comes to energy suppliers it seems to be a case of ‘better the devil you know’ – at a time when customers can ill afford to stay put with the same supplier.
“In order to make a fully informed decision about whether to switch suppliers, customers should do a whole market comparison based on objective and accurate information, using a fully accredited price comparison service.
“SSE customers should have been contacted to see if they qualify for a reimbursement. However, if they haven’t yet been written to and feel they are out of pocket, they should contact SSE for compensation – the supplier has set aside £5 million to repay them.
“Until this trust is restored, we won’t get the market moving and if we don’t have a fully competitive market, consumers will lose out. This fine should send a clear message to energy suppliers that they must treat customers fairly.”
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Uswitch is the UK’s top comparison website for home services switching. Launched in September 2000, we help consumers save money on their gas, electricity, broadband, mobile, TV, and financial services products and get more of what matters to them. Last year we saved consumers over £373 million on their energy bills alone.
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