SSE agrees to £1 million payout after misleading customers
The energy company SSE has agreed to pay £1 million to Ofgem after misleading pre-payment meter customers.
The money will be paid into Ofgem’s consumer redress fund, which supports consumers in vulnerable situations and develops new products and services.
Ofgem launched a probe into SSE in November last year after SSE reported the issue to the regulator.
It found that, between June 2014 and September 2015, the supplier sent out 1.15 million annual statements to 580,000 pre-payment meter customers.
Due to a coding error, these statements had wrong information on the alternative cheaper tariff available to customers and inaccurate estimates of how much they could save annually by switching to them.
Some statements also overestimated the annual savings the customers could make by changing their pre-payment meter to a standard credit meter paying by direct debit, as well as by moving to paperless billing.
While a large number of incorrect annual statements were issued to customers, the investigation concluded that the level of harm was low as only a small proportion of those customers would have acted on the information by switching.
The investigation concluded that SSE failed to act promptly to put things right.
SSE says it has since introduced processes to stop the problem happening again.
Ofgem has now closed this case without taking formal enforcement action, taking into account the steps that SSE has since taken to address its failings and, considering the low level of harm identified, the redress it has agreed to pay.
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