BG bullish despite £2.5m fine

British Gas remains defiant despite being hit by a record £2.5m by regulator Ofgem for failing to deal with customer complaints.
The company has branded the fine “totally disproportionate”, and that it was top of the league for complaints handling in a recent Consumer Focus survey.
Ofgem said it sent a warning to all energy companies to take complaint handling seriously.
The regulator found that British Gas had failed to reopen complaints when customers had indicated that the complaint was not resolved and it had failed to put in place adequate processes and practices for dealing with complaints from small businesses.
The fine is the largest ever issued by Ofgem for customer service issues, although it has given larger fines in the past for other matters.
Ofgem senior partner for sustainable development Sarah Harrison said: “Today’s finding highlights basic failures in British Gas’ customer service, particularly in dealing with some of its small business customers, and shows Ofgem’s commitment to use its powers to ensure suppliers treat customers fairly and transparently.
She added: “We warned the industry in March that we would be backing up our plans to reform the retail market with a tough approach to enforcement. This £2.5m fine against British Gas, and the other £10m of fines imposed on the energy industry so far this year, sends a clear message to energy companies that they must abide by the rules.”
Npower and EDF Energy after also being probed over complaint handling, while Scottish Power, Scottish and Southern Energy, EDF Energy and Npower are under investigation for misselling. Ofgem is also conducting two investigations into Scottish Power for misleading marketing and the difference between its Standard Credit and Direct Debit Tariffs.

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