Business energy supplier, BES, will pay £980,000 for customer service failures between June 2010 and July 2015. BES will return around £310,000 to directly affected customers. The remaining £670,000 will be paid to Business Debtline.
Ofgem found that BES failed to fully explain important details of customers’ contracts. The supplier failed to explain possible termination fees to customers if they ended their contract early, to properly explain price reviews during their contract, and that they faced increased standing charges for not using a minimum amount of energy.
Since the majority of BES’ customers signed up to four or five year contracts, these omissions were particularly serious. BES has agreed to repay termination fees and any standing charges to affected customers. BES will also get in touch with customers who have previously contacted them about their contracts and will allow them the option to end their contracts without paying termination fees.
In some cases, BES wrongly blocked customers on deemed contracts* from switching supplier. These customers were not able to switch to their preferred supplier and therefore paid higher prices for their energy. BES has agreed to compensate affected customers. BES was also found to have inadequate processes and procedures to handle the complaints it received.