- Publication date
- 23rd November 2017
- Information types
- Policy areas
E is to pay £260,000 for failing to make sure its sales agents were transparent or had sufficient background checks.
Following investigation, Ofgem found that sales representatives for E contracted by third party agency Energy Watch UK were misleading in their approach. They failed to tell potential customers they were working on behalf of E, and instead they presented themselves as an independent price comparison service.
Additionally, Ofgem found that, between 2014 and 2017, E failed to make sure that any of its face-to-face sales agents had sufficient background checks.
Ofgem found that the supplier did not act quickly enough to put things right. E’s management knew of these failures in 2014, but did not correct them until 2017.
E has now acted to put things right. It has worked with Energy Watch UK to make their face-to-face sales process more transparent. It has also changed its processes to carry out sufficient checks, including criminal records checks, on all prospective and existing sales agents.
E fully cooperated with this investigation and has not previously been subject to investigation.
Ofgem found no evidence that any customer suffered directly, financially or otherwise, from the breaches. E is paying £260,000 to Ofgem’s new Voluntary Redress Fund to make amends for the failures. This will go to charity, including to help vulnerable energy consumers. E is a smaller supplier and the size of the redress partly reflects the absence of any financial loss to customers.
Ofgem’s Senior Partner in Improving Regulation Martin Crouch comments:
“E did not put security and transparency first when it came to face-to-face sales, and risked the trust and wellbeing of potential customers.
“This payment sends an important reminder to all suppliers that there’s no room for misleading behaviour when it comes to selling energy.
“E has since worked well with Ofgem, and has changed its processes to make sure its agents have sufficient background checks and carry out sales in a transparent way.”
Notes to editors
- Investigation into E (Gas and Electricity) Limited’s compliance under the gas and electricity supply licences (Standard Licence Condition 25 and 13
- The Energy Saving Trust (EST) will manage and allocate voluntary redress funds. Charitable organisations interested in applying for redress funds can lodge initial interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Read more on our work around sales and marketing
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