Co-operative Energy to pay £1.8 million for customer service failings
Following engagement with Ofgem, Co-operative Energy has agreed to pay £1.8 million to energy consumers, because it let customers down in its complaints resolution, call handling and billing processes.
£1.6 million of this money has already been paid with the remainder to be paid shortly to those customers not yet compensated. The money that Co-op is unable to return to customers will go to the charity StepChange to help energy consumers who are in financial difficulties.
Ofgem started engaging with Co-operative Energy following a steep increase in customer complaints, reported to Ofgem and to Citizen’s Advice. These were caused by customers being unable to log into their accounts online, leaving them unable to submit meter readings or check their bill. Bills were delayed and direct debit updates stopped. New customers also experienced delay transferring to the supplier. It also took too long to resolve a significant number of customer complaints.
The issues were the result of the introduction of a new IT system in March 2015.
Since then, the supplier has worked well with Ofgem to restore customer service levels and provide compensation to those customers directly affected by the issues. It also voluntarily withdrew from marketing activities to help focus on improving its services to its existing customers.
Co-operative Energy has given assurances that adequate processes and systems are now in place to ensure it meets its obligations and that it will provide the level of service that its customers should expect to receive.
Martin Crouch, Ofgem senior partner said:
“While customers experienced unacceptable levels of service, Co-operative Energy has done the right thing by taking responsibility for the situation and paying out compensation to those people affected.
“If trust is to be restored in the energy market suppliers must make amends to their customers when things go wrong. We want all suppliers to constantly ensure customers are treated fairly.”
Notes to editors
- Co-operative Energy put in place a new billing system in March 2015. Following the installation, multiple issues adversely affected Co-operative Energy’s customers which were brought to our attention in June 2015.
- Citizen’s Advice raised concerns with Ofgem relating to a high level of complaints against Co-operative Energy particularly around billing.
Ofgem is the independent energy regulator for Great Britain. Its priority is to make a positive difference for consumers by promoting competition in the energy markets and regulating networks.
For further press information contact:
Ruth Sommerville 0207 901 7460
Out of hours 07766 511470
Latest News from
Suppliers must do more to help those in debt, as report shows customers accrue more than £600 on average in unpaid bills17/10/2017 12:15:00
Suppliers must do more to help those in debt, Ofgem has said, as new research shows that customers are building up on average over £600 in unpaid bills on their gas and electricity accounts before suppliers step in to help them manage paying it back.
Ofgem extends price protection to 1 million more vulnerable households this winter11/10/2017 15:15:15
Around 1 million households will save £120 a year on average when Ofgem extends its prepayment safeguard tariff for more vulnerable people this winter.
Ofgem cuts £200m from electricity distribution network company allowances18/09/2017 10:15:00
Ofgem has confirmed that the allowances of some of Britain’s electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) will be reduced by around £200m in total following a review of performance in their previous price control (2010-2015).
Latest data on Consolidated Segmental Statements, Supplier Cost Index and standard variable tariffs31/08/2017 12:25:00
Ofgem has published complete annual data1 on the profit margins from the six large energy suppliers’ Consolidated Segmental Statements2 which Ofgem requires them to submit.
Ofgem’s response to National Grid’s proposed network upgrade to connect the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station31/08/2017 09:15:00
Ofgem yesterday said that an upgrade to the high-voltage grid is needed to connect the new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point, but considers that the costs to consumers of the upgrade can be reduced.