British Gas has paid £1.1 million to some of its domestic and micro business customers after its third party agents missed appointments with customers or did not keep them on time, and then did not compensate them as required by Ofgem.
Around 12,000, largely business, customers were affected.
Suppliers and their agents must meet minimum standards of customer service under Ofgem's Guaranteed Standards, including when they visit customers on their premises. If they don’t meet these standards, they must pay customers compensation.
This year, British Gas came forward to Ofgem and reported that due to process errors, it hadn’t paid compensation to some micro-business and domestic customers when agents missed appointments or did not keep them on time.
Ofgem has been working with the supplier to make improvements. The supplier has since taken action to change its customer services processes to make sure in future, when appointments are missed or delayed, customers receive the compensation they’re entitled to.
British Gas has compensated affected customers in full (£30 for initial failed appointment and £30 for not paying customers within the required 10 days). In addition, British Gas has paid an extra £30 to each affected customer. British Gas has paid a total of £1.1 million to compensate affected customers.
Due to these actions, Ofgem has agreed to this redress package with British Gas and is not taking formal enforcement action.
Martin Crouch, Ofgem Senior Partner for Improving Regulation, said: “British Gas did the right thing in coming forward to report this issue, and has since improved its processes to make sure that, when appointments are missed or not kept on time, all customers receive the compensation they’re entitled to.
“It’s crucial that suppliers keep appointments on time, and make amends when things go wrong.”
Notes to editors
Ofgem’s Guaranteed Standards for suppliers set specific customer service standards, in particular where suppliers need to visit a customer’s premises. Where a supplier fails to meet a performance standard, they must pay compensation to the affected customer.
The current supplier Guaranteed Standards are found in the Electricity and Gas (Standards of Performance) (Suppliers) Regulations 2015, which superseded the requirements on suppliers under the Gas (Standards of Performance) Regulations 2005 and the Electricity (Standards of Performance) Regulations 2010. Currently they set compensation at £30 per missed appointment or if an appointment is not kept on time, and £30 further if not paid within ten working days.
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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.