For anyone who’s ever been put on hold for an hour while trying to complain to a big corporation, this must seem like karma. EDF Energy has been fined £3m by the energy regulator Ofgem for keeping complaining customers on the line too long.
Ofgem’s investigation found that EDF lacked the appropriate procedures to deal with calls between May 2011 and January 2012, leading to a 30% rise in complaints. Many customers hung up before getting through.
Ofgem did say that EDF staff took quick action to rectify the problems, and the French company has publicly apologised for the inconvenience caused.
EDF’s slap on the wrist now means that all of the Big Six power suppliers have been fined in the last two years, mostly for mis-selling.
The Competition and Markets Authority is conducting an 18-month investigation into the whole energy industry in a bid to rebuild public trust, after the Big Six saw collective profits quadruple to over £1bn over the last three years amid allegations of profiteering, which they deny.
The money from EDF’s fine is going to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau’s Energy Best Deal Extra scheme and the Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau debt helpline. Presumably the helpline will now have no problems taking calls.