Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, has today published its intention to fine SSE £10.5 million for numerous breaches of its obligations relating to telephone, in store and doorstep sales activities. The level of fine reflects the seriousness and duration of breaches, the likely substantial harm that they have caused and the likely gain to SSE.
that a failure of SSE’s management arrangements meant that insufficient
attention was paid to ensuring compliance with obligations. This enabled
misleading and unsubstantiated statements to be made by sales agents to
potential customers about savings. Ofgem found failings at all stages of SSE’s
sales processes, from the opening lines on the doorstep, in-store or over the
phone through to the confirmation process which follows a sale.
In particular, SSE
consistently failed, over a prolonged period of time, to conduct its sales
activities in a way that would provide clear and accurate information on prices
and potential savings to enable customers to make an informed decision about
whether to switch suppliers. Although SSE terminated doorstep sales in July
2011, failures in telephone and in-store sales persisted.
SSE has in
place a £5 million misselling fund, where customers can receive compensation if
they have been missold to. Ofgem would encourage anyone who believes they have
been missold to by SSE to call the fund’s dedicated line on 0845 0707 388.