Pink Dog

Co-op Energy pays up £1.8 million after customer service failings

A footnote to my previous posts documenting some of the many serious customer service failings at The Co-operative Energy, and lack of interest from (would-be) directors in them:

Following engagement with Ofgem, Co-operative Energy has agreed to pay £1.8 million to energy consumers, because it let customers down in its complaints resolution, call handling and billing processes.

£1.6 million of this money has already been paid with the remainder to be paid shortly to those customers not yet compensated. The money that Co-op is unable to return to customers will go to the charity StepChange to help energy consumers who are in financial difficulties. [Ofgem]

It does rather highlight the mess Co-operative Energy made of matters that it can’t even be sure about accurately identifying who it needs to pay compensation to.

In some ways Ofgem is rather generous to Coop Energy because its press release states approvingly, “It also voluntarily withdrew from marketing activities to help focus on improving its services to its existing customers.” Yet, as I pointed out at the time, the reality is that Coop Energy was very slow to do this and carried on marketing for new customers for a long time after its meltdown started.

And the lack of interest in the problems at Co-operative Energy from the candidates standing in the cooperative director elections goes unmentioned. They all either thought the problems were not worth mentioning or made positive noises (!) about its record. That not only person stood in those elections on the basis of ‘we have a problem and I want to sort it out’ leaves real doubts about how good the director team is.

So if you’re thinking of becoming a customer of theirs, my advice is still the same: when you have directors who show so little interest in customer service problems, why risk yourself with them when instead you can pick a firm where the senior people think such matters are important?

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