Npower hit by £2m complaints fine

Energy provider Npower has been fined £2m by regulator Ofgem for failing to deal with hundreds of customer complaints.
The move comes as insurance and maintenance company Homeserve has suspended all marketing activity amid claims of mis-selling by call centre staff.
It is the second fine levied on Npower in less than three years; in December 2008, the company was fined £1.8m for mis-selling contracts to its customers via door-step techniques. Npower also had to refund £70m to 2 million customers last year in a billing fiasco.
The move follows a record fine of £2.5m handed down to British Gas in the summer.
Official figures show complaints are soaring; Ofgem dealt with 632 customers fobbed off by their supplier in September – up 81 per cent on the same month last year.
Meanwhile, nearly 100 workers at the Homeserve’s biggest call centre in Walsall, West Midlands, were reportedly given the day off on Friday (October 28) as a probe began.
It said an internal investigation had suggested some employees were using questionable sales techniques. The firm has suspended outbound calls and says it is retraining 500 staff.
Earlier this year Homeserve and Npower were investigated by Ofcom after being accused of excessive silent calls.

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