Birmingham news Check your energy supplier ranking as Ofgem slams firms for poor service PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - The energy regulator has named and shamed 17 energy suppliers in Britain who have "weaknesses"
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Seventeen energy suppliers have been told to improve their service after a review by regulator Ofgem, with five found to have "severe weaknesses". So what has been the verdict on your electricity and gas provider? The problems identified included power companies failing to read the meters of customers who could not do it themselves. In addition, some vulnerable customers were unable to contact their energy firm to top up their meter or to request support credit. And there were other cases where debt repayment rates were set so high that customers did not top-up their prepayment meter when the credit ran out and were left without power for days or even weeks. All the suppliers who supplied data to the regulator were told they must improve customer service. READ MORE: When the energy bill discount scheme ends and what happens next Ofgem said that there were risks that people were not identified as vulnerable and given the support they were entitled to. According to the BBC, one 83-year old blind and partially deaf man was switched to a new provider when his old one went bust while he was in hospital and when he cancelled the direct debit, a county court judgement was issued and bailiffs were sent to his home to remove his belongings. The new provider insisted they did not know he was vulnerable. How is your energy supplier ranked in the new review? This latest Market Compliance Review, which looks specifically at how suppliers treat "customers in a vulnerable situation" - such as the elderly and disabled - has considered information submitted by 17 of the biggest domestic energy suppliers, detailing how the companies are: Identifying and recording customers in a vulnerable situation, and if they are adding them to the Priority Services Register, which offers additional support to customers in need Making free gas safety checks available to eligible customers Ensuring vulnerable customers on prepayment meters are identified and supported Providing useful information appropriate to customer needs Ofgem ranked firms in three categories: Severe weaknesses were found in five suppliers – Good Energy, Outfox, SO Energy, TruEnergy, Utilita Moderate weaknesses were found in five suppliers – E (Gas & Electricity), Ecotricity, Green Energy UK, Octopus and Shell Minor weaknesses were found in seven suppliers - British Gas, Bulb, EDF, E.ON, Ovo, Scottish Power and Utility Warehouse. Neil Lawrence, Director of Retail at Ofgem, said: "From eligible customers who are missing out on free gas safety checks through to companies not identifying vulnerable customers to be offered obvious support on the Priority Services Register, this robust review has highlighted that suppliers need to do more to support consumers.
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. "Most suppliers take the protection of vulnerable customers seriously and several good initiatives to support customers have been launched recently. While it’s encouraging to see the engagement on this Market Compliance Review, with some improvement actions already taking place, we’ve seen a number of failings across the board which need to be urgently addressed. It’s going to be a very challenging winter for everyone, and customers must be confident they are getting the help and support they need. "My message to suppliers today is simple - be proactive. Help your customers to know what support is available, and then deliver it." Suppliers are being required to rapidly complete the actions set for them in this review, with improvements required on: having clearer policies and procedures to identify customers in vulnerable circumstances ensuring customer-facing staff are trained appropriately to identify and support customers in vulnerable situations having quality assurance controls to ensure third-party representatives act in line with required standards demonstrating how risks associated with serving customers in vulnerable situations are identified, recorded, assessed and mitigated identifying who is responsible for making decisions relating to customers in vulnerable situations, and then clearly reporting on these decisions demonstrating more clearly how pre-payment customers, who may be self-disconnecting, are identified and supported having more robust audit procedures to ensure high standards are achieved and maintained in these areas. Energy UK, which represents suppliers, said: "Identifying and supporting vulnerable customers is already a top priority. Our members have responded swiftly to Ofgem's review - including providing additional documentation to demonstrate where processes were already in place, and will continue to look at all the ways they can make sure people get the help and support they need." A spokesman for Utilita said: "Ofgem's report does not represent where we are as a business today, nor does it acknowledge the significant progress we have made - and are making - since its initial assessment in early summer." READ NEXT: Shoppers can save on energy bills with this gadget reduced in Amazon's early Black Friday sale Homeowners urged to take simple steps to avoid £9,000 bill this winter Argos shoppers say '1p a night' £25 blanket could help you save money on energy during the winter 'My children will have fewer Christmas presents as I have to pay for heating' Full list of energy firms taking part in money-saving off-peak energy scheme
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