Ofgem issues Scottish Power with provisional order over its support for customers who cannot pay

Ofgem has issued Scottish Power with a provisional order and told it to pause disconnections because it is concerned that the supplier is not dealing correctly with customers.
It cites:
• SP’s apparent failure to consider its customer’s ability to pay on a case-by-case basis and set debt repayment rates based on individual circumstances;
• SP setting £5 minimum default repayment amounts without assessing customers’ ability to pay;
• Staff who appear to be failing to follow their own internal policy and procedures on setting lower repayment amounts where the customer is in payment difficulty;
• Not exploring all available options to support customers (including for those customers who are vulnerable).
It has told Scottish Power to pause disconnections for those customers with active, agreed or overdue repayment plans at £5 per week (per fuel) and to review and update all call scripts, training materials, policies, communications with customers and provide training to ensure staff realise there is no default minimum repayment amount when sufficient information is available on a customer’s ability to pay.
It also wants the company to contact and review all customers on debt repayment plans of £5 per week, per fuel, or below to ensure they are based on each customer’s ability to pay.
The regulator wants Scottish Power to audit its own processes and commission an independent audit.