The energy firm “failed to treat its customers fairly” when handling calls, dealing with complaints and billing, the watchdog said.
Dermot Nolan, Ofgem chief executive, said: “Scottish Power let its customers down during the implementation of a new IT system. When things went wrong, it didn’t act quickly enough to fix them.
“This created frustration and worry for many customers, who also wasted a lot of time trying to contact the supplier by phone.”
ScottishPower was blasted for “unacceptably long call waiting times”, with the company receiving more than one million complaints between June 2013 and December 2015.
Ofgem added that thousands of Ombudsman rulings were not implemented within therequired 28 days and ScottishPower’s failures resulted in more than 300,000customers receiving late final bills. This meant many customers did not receivemoney they were owed.
However, the regulator also said that, since it opened the investigation, ScottishPower has improved its customer service.
Up to £15 million of the fine will be paid out to ScottishPower customers affected by customer service issues and the remainder will go to charity.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, which provided evidence toOfgem’s investigation, said: “ScottishPower failed its customers not once buttwice. Not only did the firm struggle to get people’s bills right first time, italso failed to sort out the problems when customers tried to complain.
“Time and again we’re seeing big companies introduce new billing systems which leave customers in limbo – with the wrong bill and no way to sort it out.
“Ofgem is right to hand ScottishPower such a large fine. We also need the industry to start learning the lessons from issues which have caused such misery for consumers.”
ScottishPower warranty scheme labelled a ‘fraud on the public’
MPs call for fraud probe into £75 million Scottish Power consumer row ‘bigger than PPI’
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe