The Ofgem inquiry into the Big Six energy suppliers took its first scalp this morning, as E.On have been ordered to pay no less than £12 million to home and business energy customers in compensation for a wide range of misdemeanours. In addition to this, 500,000 customers will be contacted in order to inform them that they are to be issued with a refund.
E.On is now the fifth energy supplier in the United Kingdom to be hit with such a fine and the move emphasised Ofgem’s new commitment to reprimanding any energy provider than fails to toes the line with regard to transparency and customer service.
A spokesperson for Ofgem spoke out on BBC News this morning to urge any customers who have bought gas, electricity or indeed both from EON since 2010 to get in touch to have their payments reviews and to see if they are owed any compensation.
Why Were E.On Fined?
Although there have been a selection of shortcomings highlighted by Ofgem, E.On have been penalised for mis-selling their products to customers and failing to be transparent with regard to what they are actually paying for. NPower Energy Supplier were issued with a similar fine for the very same thing back in December 2013 albeit for a relatively paltry sum of £3.5 million.
Ultimately, the main point of concern is that E.On have been mis-selling to the most vulnerable customers in the country, which will put serious pressure on the company’s chief executive Tony Cocker to consider his position. He has to be asked three times by BBC News before he confirmed he would be staying on, but his response was far from confident.
Mis-Selling Via Phone and On Door Step...
The sheer size of E.On and the fine imposed highlights how severe the breached must have been and that they have been occurring via telephone and on the doorstep. Insufficient safeguards, unacceptable sales practices and even lacklustre training are all being blamed for the poor performance of one of the UK’s major energy suppliers.
E.On has responded by accepting their behaviour has been “completely unacceptable” and that they will be doing “all we can to put this right”. The financial remunerations will go some way to alleviating the concerns of energy customers although they will inevitably be keen to see suppliers refraining from these types of misdemeanour in the future.
Customers who are part of the Warm Home Discount will also receive a figure in the region of £35, there are thought to be in excess of 300,000 households involved with this scheme.
Long Term Malpractice...
One of the more worrying aspects to this fine is the fact that Ofgem have revealed how long this poor performance has been occurring. The regulator has been quick to point out that the supplier has had three and a half years to resolve its issues although they did cooperate fully with the inquiry.
E.on has gone on record to reassure customers that there was no “organised attempt to mislead”. Whilst Ofgem accepts this is the case, it is no excuse for energy customers yet again getting a raw deal.
Today’s news means that nearly £100 million has been issued in fines by Ofgem to energy suppliers for a range of breaches, in the last four years. Of this, £39 million has been for mis-selling of energy products.
If you are concerned about your home or business energy bills, whether it is with E.on or any UK energy suppplier, please do not hesitate in getting in touch with Love Energy Savings. We provide free, online energy comparison and can get you moved to a cheaper tariff completely free of charge. We also have a team of experienced energy professionals available to answer any questions you have regarding your gas or electricity. Either click the banner above or call us on 0800 9888 375.