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Energy company now offering free energy

ScottishPower banned from selling after failing to clear complaints

scottishpowerScottishPower has been banned from selling for 12 days after failing to clear a backlog of customer complaints.

Ofgem launched an investigation into ScottishPower’s treatment of customers in November after customers were experiencing long call waiting times, receiving late bills and the firm was not implementing Ombudsman decisions.

ScottishPower also signed up to three Ofgem targets to improve customer service within three months or suspend proactive sales activities until the targets were met.

It failed to reach the target for removing the backlog for acting on Ombudsman decisions for individual complaints by the end of November. The ban comes into effect today.

Where ScottishPower’s IT systems only allow a partial implementation of the Ombudsman’s proposed remedies, the firm has been providing affected customers with free energy and has been writing off past debt.

Ofgem said ScottishPower had provided assurances that these Ombudsman requirements will remain in force for any case where the company can only partially implement the Ombudsman’s decisions. More than 2,000 customers are currently receiving free energy.

Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s senior partner in charge of enforcement said: “A sales ban illustrates the difficulties ScottishPower is having in delivering the levels of service customers deserve. While Ofgem’s targets have driven significant improvements in ScottishPower’s performance, we remain very concerned about how customers are being treated.

“As well as our ongoing investigation, we require ScottishPower to undertake an independent audit of its progress on improving customer service. We will keep the need for any further action under review.”

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