OFGEM, the Energy regulator, set ScottishPower three customer service targets in November 2014. The supplier has failed to meet one of them and as a result has been banned from pro-actively selling for 12 days. In the meantime, all sales staff will be dealing with customer service enquiries.
OFGEM launched an investigation in to the supplier’s treatment of its customers, after it received complaints of customers experiencing long call waiting time, receiving late bills and not implementing Ombudsman decisions.
The supplier met two of its three targets set by OFGEM.
1. Improve the speed of answering calls by the end of January. Average waiting time have fallen to less than two and a half minutes since November. Target met.
2. Reduce the number of bills sent out late. Late bills have fallen from 75,000 to 25,000. Target met.
3. Completely remove the backlog for acting on Ombudsman decisions for individual complaints by the end of November 2014. Scottish Power and the Ombudsman believed this target to have been met but OFGEM and the Ombudsman found evidence that ScottishPower had missed the November target by 30. Target missed.
If ScottishPower’s IT system only allows a partial implementation of the Ombudsman’s solutions, the company has been providing customers with free energy and writing off old debt. This will remain in place until the customer’s complaint is resolved. Currently 2000 of ScottishPower’s customers are currently receiving free energy.
Sarah Harrison, OFGEMs’s senior partner in charge of enforcement said: “A sales ban illustrates the difficulties ScottishPower is having in delivering the levels of service customers deserve. While OFGEM’s targets have driven significant improvements in ScottishPower’s performance, we remain very concerned about how customers are being treated.
As well as our ongoing investigation, we require ScottishPower to undertake an independent audit of its progress on improving customer service. We will keep the need for any further action under review.”
To find out more about the investigation, click here.