ScottishPower has agreed to pay £18m in redress after an Ofgem investigation into the supplier’s complaint resolution, call handling and billing processes. Up to £15m will be paid in customer compensation and the rest will go to charity.
Ofgem said ScottishPower failed to treat its customers fairly; it had insufficient contingency plans and it did not do enough to protect its customers from issues that arose from the implementation of a new IT system.
When complaints rose the company failed to deal with them. Customers had to call many times and were kept waiting before getting through. Thousands of Ombudsman rulings were not implemented, as required, within 28 days.
Over 300,000 customers also received late final bills. This meant some customers did not promptly receive money they were owed.
The compensation payments (totaling up to £15million) will be made to ScottishPower’s affected Priority Services Register and Warm Homes Discount customers, if their bill became more than six weeks overdue or made a complaint to ScottishPower about an issue arising out of the IT change.
Ofgem said Scottish Power has now improved its customer service. The average call waiting time, rate of abandoned calls and the number of Ombudsman cases have all more than halved. The number of late bills has fallen by 75%.