March 27, 2018
Ofgem has banned Nottingham based energy supplier, Iresa, from taking on any new customers until it fixes its current customer service issues. Iresa has also been banned from increasing existing customers' direct debits until the issues are resolved.
This is not the first customer ban Iresa has faced. In early 2016, Iresa was forced to stop taking new customers after the energy regulator, Ofgem, found that customers were having trouble getting in touch with the energy provider.
Ofgem has said that the ban will remain in place until Iresa improves its service to its customers and could have its licence revoked by Ofgem if it fails to take steps within the next three months.
To meet Ofgem's requirements, Iresa must extend its current call centre hours, bring down the average call waiting times to below five minutes, and respond to all customers who request a call back by the end of the next working day.
Iresa must also make a commitment to respond to customer emails within five working days, clear the existing backlog of consumer emails and log all expressions of customer dissatisfaction.
Iresa also must be able to prove they can identify and manage all of its vulnerable customers, which includes offering to put them on a priority services register.
Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem:
"This order sends out a very clear message to suppliers that where they fail their customers on service, Ofgem will step in and take strong action. It's crucial that all suppliers provide customers with good service, including acting quickly and effectively to sort things out wherever problems occur."
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said the ban was a "very important intervention".
The consumer protection group had formally referred Iresa to Ofgem in November for "consistently poor" customer service.
"While this is a positive step, Ofgem also needs to go further. The regulator should tighten up its licensing regime so they can prevent poorly prepared suppliers from entering the market in the first place."
If you are an Iresa customer and you aren't happy with their customer service, Energylinx offers a comparison and switching service. You can either do this online or by calling one of our lovely advisors on 01259 220000.
Posted on March 27, 2018 at 10:30 AM