OFGEM is now widening the scope of their investingation into ScottishPower Customer Service Performance

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OFGEM’s investigation into ScottishPower opened in November 14 whether it is complying with the Standards of Conduct (SOC) (SLC 25C) of its gas and electricity supply licence and with the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 2008 (‘Complaints Handling Regulations’). We are also investigating ScottishPower’s compliance with SLCs 27.17 and 27.18, in relation to final bills has now been widened.

For full details see OFGEM document at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/investigation-scottish-power%E2%80%99s-compliance-standards-conduct-slc-25c-slc-27-provision-final-bills-and-gas-and-electricity-cchs-regulations-2008

The investigation is considering whether ScottishPower is and has been complying with the SOC. Ofgem will assess whether ScottishPower has made it easy for consumers to contact them, whether they have acted promptly and courteously to put things right when they have made a mistake and whether they have ensured that customer service arrangements are fit for purpose.

Also investigated are: SLC 27.17 which requires suppliers to take all reasonable steps to send a final bill within 6 weeks of a domestic customer transferring or terminating the contract. SLC 27.18 requires suppliers to correct any errors in the final bill as soon as reasonably practicable where subsequent information becomes available to do so.

On 25 September 2015 Ofgem notified ScottishPower of a widening of the scope of the investigation to include further potential breaches of Complaint Handling Regulations 3, 4 and 5. These regulations relate to ScottishPower’s complaints handling procedures, obligations to record consumer complaints on receipt and obligations to record the handling of complaints.
The opening of this investigation does not imply that we have made any finding(s) about non-compliance.

Alongside the investigation, Ofgem has secured commitments from ScottishPower to take immediate action to resolve its billing issues, reduce its outstanding Ombudsman remedies, and to respond to all customer queries in a timely manner. The commitments are as follows:

1. Prompt responses to customer queries:

(i) ScottishPower is taking action to reduce call waiting times for customers contacting the company. ScottishPower has committed to reduce the average speed of answer (ASA) to 2 minutes by the end of January 2015;

(ii) ScottishPower will not achieve its target of an ASA of 2 minutes at the expense of worsening abandoned call rates; and

(iii) ScottishPower is committing to publish weekly data in a prominent position on ScottishPower’s website highlighting the amount of calls (both the percentage of total calls, and the actual number) that fall into each 10 minute call waiting time. For example the number of call waiting 0-10 minutes, 10-20 minutes, 20-30 minutes, and so on.

If ScottishPower fails to meet any of these commitments by the end of January 2015, they will cease all outbound telesales and face to face sales until such time that they meet and maintain these targets.

2. Outstanding late invoices:

For existing customers, ScottishPower will reduce any overdue live bills to 30,000 by the end of December 2014. If ScottishPower miss this target, they will cease all outbound telesales and face to face sales until such time that they meet and maintain this target.

3. Outstanding Ombudsman Remedies:

ScottishPower will resolve any overdue remedies from the Ombudsman Services: Energy.