Npower handed record fine as customers’ frustrations boil over

‘Big Six’ energy supplier, npower, has been hit with a fine of £26m from regulator Ofgem as a result of poor customer service and billing problems.

Over a period from September 2013 to December 2014, npower received over two million complaints from customers who raised issues with their bills.

It is thought that around 500,000 customers were affected, leading Ofgem to intervene.  Ofgem Chief Executive, Dermot Nolan, stated: “npower failed its customers…Not only have its billing and complaint handling procedures been chaotic, it treated many of its customers poorly, which is unacceptable.”

The root of the problems is thought to be the IT system which npower introduced in 2011.  Customers were issued with late bills, inaccurate bills, and bills with little detail as to how the sums were calculated.  Whilst customers complained, npower failed to resolve the issues within a reasonable time and disputed debts were often pursued.

Npower has now been set a number of business targets to reach, otherwise it will face a series of advertising and sales restrictions in the domestic market.

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Tom Smith

About Tom Smith

Tom is a Partner and Head of the Dispute Resolution Department at Forbes Solicitors. Tom’s blogs cover his specialisms of business disputes involving commercial contracts, shareholders, partnerships, share sales and warranties, banking issues, restrictive covenants and professional negligence.
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