The UK government’s failure to tackle an alleged mis-selling scandal involving ScottishPower was described today in parliament as an “absolute disgrace”.
Shoppers who bought a warranty on items such as fridges and washing machines were told they could get the money back after five years if they had not made a claim.
More than 750,000 such warranties were sold between 1998 and 2001, of which about 625,000 did not make a claim and were therefore eligible for the “cashback”.
However, by then ScottishPower had divested its chain of stores to Powerhouse, which subsequently went into administration.
Two firms which administered and insured the warranties also went bust, and attempts by their administrators to claim money from ScottishPower yielded only £6m. The dispute was resurrected today when Andrew Percy, Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole told the Prime Minister that a year later “very little has happened.”
Raising the issue during Prime Minister’s Questions, he said: “In the light of the most recent evidence, will my right honourable friend urge ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to look again at this issue, to get people back the money they are owed?”
David Cameron responded by saying he took the issue seriously and further action would be taken. “My honourable friend is absolutely right to raise that issue. I understand that the liquidation of the companies involved in the scheme is still under way.
“As a result, the creditors of the companies have not yet received the reports from the liquidators to see whether that money can be extracted. Before Labour Members get too excited, most of this happened between 1997 and 2001. I have asked the Business Secretary to meet my honourable friend to discuss his concerns directly.”