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SSE pays customers more than £660k over switch delays

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
SSE Energy has compensated customers more than £660,000 over delays to switching them to cheaper deals, resulting in a number paying more on the new tariff.

The energy firm has made two separate payments to customers. The first is £190,000 in compensation over failures which resulted in around 6,000 customers moving to a cheaper tariff, but ‘lost’ money they would have saved due to the delayed switch.

It also made a £475,000 ‘goodwill gesture’ payment to around 29,000 customers who were switched but ended up paying more on the new tariff.

The payments follow SSE failures following its withdrawal of the white label partnership tariff with Ebico, a social enterprise, according to energy regulator Ofgem.

It said that at the end of 2016, Ebico ended its partnership with SSE and in February 2017, SSE withdrew the white label tariff with Ebico from the market.

Suppliers have 49 days to move customers to another tariff when one is withdrawn from the market, but SSE took almost six months to make the move.

SSE has compensated all affected customers, set up a support team for those querying the compensation value, and a support fund for customers requiring further compensation.

Due to the steps taken by SSE, Ofgem said it has not taken formal action against the supplier.

But it did step in after Ebico entered a new white label partnership with local authority-owned energy company, Robin Hood Energy.

Ebico wrote to all customers under the SSE / Ebico white label tariff that they would be automatically transferred to a better deal with Robin Hood Energy.

But such a move would have contravened the supply licence as customers need to give their consent to be switched to another supplier, as they remained customers of SSE.

 Ofgem worked with Robin Hood Energy to make it aware of licence obligations and as a result, the supplier informed customers under the SSE / Ebico white label of their option to switch.

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