Investigation into Npower's compliance with the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 2008

Opened:
Jun 2010
Decision Proposed:
Oct 2011
Closed:
Jan 2012
Company:
npower
Regulation Area:
Sectoral Regulations
Breach Area:
Customer service

The Gas and Electricity Markets Authority ("the Authority") has confirmed its decision to impose a financial penalty on Npower for its failure to comply with the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 2008.

The Authority found that:

Between 1 October 2008 and 4 July 2011, Npower failed to record all the required details of complaints. Specifically there were some domestic complaints where npower did not record in adequate detail a summary of the complaint, a summary of the advice given or action taken, or the basis on which the complaint was resolved. This was a breach of Regulation 4 of the CHSR.

Between February 2009 and April 2010, Npower’s domestic deadlock letter did not include details of the types of redress the Ombudsman could award. Between October 2008 and April 2011, npower’s domestic 8-week letter did not contain all the details required under the CHSR. Between October 2008 and March 2011 npower’s micro business deadlock and 8 week letters did not contain all the details required under the CHSR. These were breaches of Regulation 6 of the CHSR.

As a result of these breaches, and as a result of its failures in some respects to put in place adequate policies and processes for dealing with complaints in an efficient and timely manner, Npower did not receive, handle and process complaints in an efficient and timely manner, in breach of Regulation 7(1)(a) of the CHSR.

The Authority considered it appropriate to impose a financial penalty for these contraventions. The Authority decided to impose a financial penalty of £2 million on Npower.

Further details can be found in the final penalty notice.