- Jun 2018
We have opened an investigation into whether Utility Warehouse breached licence Conditions which relate to the provision of services to customers in payment difficulties, their ability to pay and associated communications. This includes requirements for warrants for pre-payment meters.
These are covered by Standard Licence Conditions (“SLC”) 25C/0 (Customer Objective and Standards of Conduct for supply activities); SLC 27.5 (Customers in payment difficulty – services); 27.8 (Customers in payment difficulty- ability to pay); 28B (Warrants relating to Pre-payment Meters).
SLC 25C, which was in force until 9 October 2017, required suppliers to take all reasonable steps to achieve certain standards of conduct and to ensure that the standards were interpreted and applied consistently with the customer objective, which was to treat customers fairly. This requirement has since been modified; our enhanced Standards of Conduct (SLC 0) came into force on 10 October 2017.
SLC 27.5 and 27.8 set out specific obligations concerning the service that Utility Warehouse should offer where customers may be in payment difficulty and that it should take all reasonable steps to ascertain a customer’s ability to pay.
SLC 28B introduced on 8 January 2018, places certain condition on the use of warrants relating to pre-payment meters and other supplier actions in relation to debt.
The opening of this investigation does not imply that we have made any findings about non-compliance.
Update: 18 October 2019
Ofgem has widened the scope of the investigation to include SLC 32.
This SLC relates to the provision of Social Obligations Reporting (SOR) data and requires suppliers to report on performance in relation to their dealings with domestic customers.
The widening of this investigation does not imply that we have made any findings about non-compliance.