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EDF to pay millions for complaint-handling failures

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22/08/2014
EDF Energy will pay £3m to vulnerable customers, making amends for its failure to handle consumer complaints effectively.

According to industry regulator Ofgem EDF did not have appropriate procedures in place to properly receive, record and process customer complaints between May 2011 and January 2012. An investigation by Ofgem was triggered when the introduction of a new IT system resulted in a 30 per cent spike in the number of complaints.

Customers experienced “unacceptably” long wait times and in some cases EDF failed to record all of the required details of the calls, including the date of receipt and summaries of the complaint and action taken.

According to Ofgem EDF Energy took action to rectify the situation quickly and has apologised publicly for the disruption, factors reflected in the agreed payment.

Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s senior partner with responsibility for enforcement, said: “EDF Energy failed to have sufficiently robust processes in place when they introduced a new IT system and this led to the unacceptable handling of complaints. Their commitment to putting things right and paying £3m to the Citizens Advice ‘Energy Best Deal Extra’ scheme and the Plymouth Citizen Advice Bureau’s Debt Helpline to benefit vulnerable customers is a step in the right direction to rebuilding consumer trust.

“It’s now vital for EDF Energy and the industry as a whole to truly put customers first and put adequate resources in place to deal with complaints.”

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