Energy regulator Ofgem has warned Npower it will be banned from advertising and sales if it fails to meet new targets following the imposition of a record £26m fine for a billing fiasco.
The issue, which affected more than 500,000 customers between September 2013 and December 2014, led to some customers having hundreds of pounds withdrawn from their bank accounts each day.
Ofgem said Npower “failed to handle complaints effectively within a reasonable timeframe”, adding that the £26m would be divided between some of the worst affected customers and charity.
The regulator said it had agreed targets with Npower to improve its billing and complaints handling, which if it fails to meet, will lead to a ban on all sales and advertising activity.
Over the past five years Npower has been fined more than £3.8m by Ofgem for a catalogue of offences, including silent calls and mis-selling, while it has already had to repay £70m to 2 million customers after a separate billing cock-up.
Npower managing director of domestic markets Simon Stacey said: “The last few years, since we changed the systems that support our domestic business, have been very disappointing for our customers – and for Npower.
“We are very sorry about what has happened and that is why we have agreed this significant package of customer redress.”
In April this year, the company teamed up with technology firm Rant & Rave to install the Fast Feedback programme at its North East contact centre in Rainton, home to nearly 2,000 contact centre agents.
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