SSE hit by £10.5m misselling fine

gasUtility giant Scottish & Southern Electric is to be fined a record £10.5m for what watchdog Ofgem described as a “woeful catalogue of failures” across its telephone, in-store and doorstep selling activities.
This is the second time the company has been hauled up over misselling; last year it was hit with a £1.25m fine following action from Trading Standards.
According to Ofgem, SSE provided “misleading and unsubstantiated statements” to potential customers about prices and savings that could be made by switching to SSE.
Ofgem said the level of the fine reflected the seriousness and the duration of the misselling, as well as the harm caused to customers and the likely gain to SSE.
Ian Marlee, the managing director for markets at Ofgem, told the BBC: “This is a woeful catalogue of failures by the SSE management.
“This fine represents the fact that what they were doing was allowing a culture of mis-selling to continue. They weren’t doing enough to prevent sharp selling practices from their selling agents. They actually provided misleading sales scripts.
“Some people were being told they were going to get savings when actually they were being put on a worse deal. People were expecting savings and were not getting the levels of savings. People were being told direct debit levels that made it sound like they were going to be better off when in fact they were worse off.
“What we need and what we expect from energy companies is they have a culture of putting consumers first and complying with the rules.
“Clearly SSE management were not doing that which is why we imposed the largest fine on energy suppliers we have ever imposed.”

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