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Energy firm Solarplicity banned from taking new customers

Patrick Christys
Mar 1, 2019

Energy firm Solarplicity has been banned from taking on new customers due to poor customer service.

Ofgem placed restrictions on Solarplicity unless it can prove it has upped its game when dealing with customers.

The company faces allegations of bad customer service, not making it easy for people to switch and it has also allegedly not sent out contract renewal notices in a timely manner. 

The provider has been ordered to manage complaints appropriately, identify vulnerable customers and ensure they receive the appropriate support.

A spokesperson for Solarplicity said: 'We are committed to meeting the expectations of every single Solarplicity customer, but Ofgem’s decision, which was made on old historical data, disregards the vast improvements that we have made to our customer service. 

'This investment has also significantly strengthened our account switching service, and the vast majority of our customers are able to switch their accounts well within the 21 day-limit.' 

Mary Starks, executive director of consumers and markets at Ofgem, said: 'We have taken action against Solarplicity to protect its customers from experiencing further detriment.

'Solarplicity must get its house in order and provide a level of service that its customers expect.

'If not, Ofgem will take the necessary steps to ensure customers are further protected and will take the relevant action needed to do this, which may result in its licence being revoked.'

Solarplicity has three months to demonstrate that it has made significant improvements or face a further ban on taking new customers.

Matthew Vickers, chief executive at the Energy Ombudsman, said: 'In 2018 we accepted for investigation 1,035 complaints about Solarplicity. In common with most other suppliers, billing was the main driver of complaints.

'Last year's total represents a significant increase on 2017 complaint volumes, but that increase should be seen in the context of a rapid growth in Solarplicity customer numbers.

'We are working actively and collaboratively with Solarplicity to identify and help implement improvements that can be made to the company's complaint-handling process and customer service more generally.'

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