£2.5 Million Fine for British Gas’ treatment of customers.
British gas has been fined by the energy industrial regulator, Ofgem over their treatment of customer complaints. It comes as no surprise to me being a long standing complainer towards British Gas over our treatment. After a year of being told we cant leave British Gas in such traditional anti-competitive ways that British Gas trades, Ofgem was bound to get involved sooner or later.
British Gas has in the eyes of the regulator failed to put into effect adequate complaint procedures. This includes the total lack of a complaint procedure for small business. It also includes not reviewing complaints despite customers advising that the complaint had not been resolved.
British Gas has long been in the energy business so you would think they would by now have been able to process customer complaints in a sensible fashion. They have been found guilty as not providing sufficient information on how complaints can be escalated to Ofgem. This too I can completely agree with, our complaint started as a telephone call to say that they were trying to charge us for the previous tenant’s gas bill. They said this had to be paid by us as we had moved into the property. We have been in a bitter fight ever since. They even broke in to force the bill on us by installing a pay as you go meter which we can not exchange untill the bill has been paid off.
Ofgem Getting Tough
Ofgem has revealed that it will be getting tough on the industry ahead of reforms. This particular fine will have little real impact on British Gas however. They will make that in less than 48 hours of trading. It likely means that bills from British Gas are likely to increase to compensate for the fine. If Ofgem really wants to get tough on the industry, this needs to be reflected in fines and actions taken against energy companies. Fines should be so severe that companies are afraid to ignore complaints. A 30% of the annual revenue fine would make a noticeable dent in their pockets and should make them thing twice.
They are also investigaing a number of companies over their mis-selling of products to consumers.