Ofgem extends ban on Iresa taking on new customers, requesting one-off payments and increasing direct debits

Press release

Publication date

Industry sector

Supply and Retail Market
  • Ofgem has confirmed the provisional order preventing Iresa from taking on new customers, one off payments and increasing direct debits until further notice
  • Iresa has failed to resolve all its customer service failings since Ofgem imposed a temporary ban in March this year
  • Ofgem could revoke Iresa’s licence if it does not meet the requirements set out in the confirmed provisional order.

Ofgem has confirmed the provisional order that prevents Iresa from taking on new customers, one off payments and increasing direct debits for the foreseeable future after the supplier failed to resolve all its customer service failings.

In March, Ofgem imposed a provisional order banning Iresa from these activities for three months.1

As part of the provisional order, Ofgem set targets for Iresa to improve its customer service over three months, which if met may have resulted in the temporary ban being lifted. These included extending call centre hours, improving call waiting times and responding to customer emails more quickly.

Since then Iresa has significantly reduced its call waiting times but has not made enough progress in reducing the backlog of customers’ emails.

Iresa is also starting to show signs of improvement in how it handles complaints and how it manages its vulnerable customers, but this is not currently good enough nor has been sustained for a reasonable period of time.

The confirmed provisional order will remain in place until Ofgem sees a significant improvement in Iresa’s customer service. 

If it continues to fail to meet the requirements set out in the confirmed provisional order, Ofgem could start the process of revoking the supplier’s licence to operate. 

Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “Iresa continues to let its customers down by failing to provide a level of customer service its customers deserve.

“Although it has made some improvements since we issued the provisional order in March, the supplier has been unable to meet all the requirements we set it three months ago to get its house in order.

“Ofgem will step in to protect consumers if any supplier fails to provide a satisfactory level of customer service and will take firm action against those flouting the rules, which could include a supplier’s licence being taken away.”

Notes to editors

  1. Ofgem issued a provisional order on 27 March 2018 following substantial evidence that suggested Iresa was at risk of causing immediate consumer harm due to its poor customer service processes.
  2. Ofgem ordered Iresa to take specific actions, and set them deadlines, that ran over three months. For more information, see Iresa: Provisional Order. Iresa failed to sufficiently improve its service to meet the requirements of the relevant conditions and the provisions in the provisional order within these deadlines.  
  3. Following Ofgem publishing its proposal to confirm the provisional order on 31 May, the provisional order has now been confirmed. 

Further information

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