By Tony Winterburn • 02 March 2021 • 9:12
UK Energy Suppliers Ordered To Pay Back Millions After Breaking Switching Fees. image: Pexels
UK Energy Suppliers Ordered To Pay Back Millions After Breaking Switching Fee Rules.
MORE THAN a million households are to get energy refunds after it emerged 18 suppliers overcharged customers – or left them at risk of higher payments – after they requested to switch to a better tariff.
Regulator Ofgem has said that 18 energy firms will now have to pay £10.4 (€12) million back to consumers for contract renewal failures dating as far back as 2013. It said the gas and electricity providers, which includes 141,000 British Gas customers, failed to correctly protect customers’ tariff prices when they decided to switch supplier or tariff.
Price protection rules effectively safeguard a customer’s tariff price when they decide to move to a more competitive deal – or supplier – after a price increase. Anna Rossington, interim director of retail at Ofgem said: “Customers should have confidence in switching and not be overcharged when doing so.
“This case sends a strong message to all suppliers that Ofgem will intervene where customers are overcharged and ensure that no supplier benefits from non-compliance. It also shows that, where appropriate, Ofgem is prepared to work with suppliers who have failed to comply with the rules, but who are willing to self-report issues and put things right for their customers.”
Ofgem said several suppliers self-reported the issue to the regulator, which then prompted all firms to assess their practices, which revealed failures among 18 suppliers between 2013 and 2020. The firms have agreed to refund all those affected and, in some cases, make additional goodwill payments to the tune of £10.4 (€12.03) million in total.
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