Energy supplier SSE fined for mis-selling
One of the UK’s largest energy suppliers, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), has been fined a record £10.5 million by the regulator Ofgem for mis-selling electricity and gas to its customers.
Ofgem said SSE had breached its obligations relating to telephone, in-store and doorstep sales activities and added in a statement that 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”.
The statement went on to say: “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.”
The watchdog also found a failure in SSE’s management arrangements that meant insufficient attention was paid to ensuring compliance with obligations, which enabled misleading and unsubstantiated statements to be made by sales agents to potential customers about savings.
Commenting on the report, Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s senior partner in charge of enforcement, said: “SSE failed its customers, mis-sold to them and undermined trust in the energy supply industry and the fine sends a clear message to suppliers that Ofgem will hold to account those companies which fail to treat consumers fairly.”
SSE has acknowledged the failure and sent out millions of apology letters to its customers and admitted that it did not provide adequate information to people about the terms and conditions of their energy contracts.