28th Jun, 2022

Watchdog Ofgem bans Coventry energy firm from taking new customers amid payment concerns

Felix Nobes 4th Jan, 2019 Updated: 7th Jan, 2019

A COVENTRY energy company could have its licence revoked after a national watchdog raised concerns about refunds, payments and its ‘unacceptable’ customer service.

Economy Energy has been served with a provisional order by Ofgem, banning it from taking on new customers.

The order also prohibits it from requesting one-off payments and increasing direct debits.

The restrictions will initially remain in place for up to three months but can be extended if improvements are not made.

If the company fails to make changes, Ofgem – the government’s regulator for energy companies – can take steps to revoke its licence.

It has ordered the Coventry firm, based in Friars House, Manor House Drive, near Coventry train station, to improve and expand its customer contact procedures via email and webchat.

It has also demanded the company addresses its billing and payment failures and issue customer refunds in a timely manner.

Ofgem added the standard of the firm’s complaints handling has declined.

The company has nearly 250,000 customers and has endured a torrent of complaints on review sites.

The Observer has heard concerns from a number of elderly customers.

Responses on review site Trust Pilot from the city firm’s customer services team show countless apologies and acknowledgments of customers being owed ‘refunds’.

Ofgem director of conduct and enforcement Anthony Pygram said: “Ofgem is taking action to protect customers from suffering more harm from the unacceptable level of customer service provided by Economy Energy.

“We expect the supplier to take immediate action to rectify its failings or face having its ban extended.

“All suppliers are required to treat their customers fairly. Where they do not, Ofgem will take the necessary steps to ensure suppliers change their behaviour and to prevent further harm to customers.”

A spokesperson for the company said: “In light of the news received from Ofgem today, in which we are very disappointed, we wish to advise our customers we will be cooperating fully with Ofgem and are always committed to continual improvement of our business. We thank our customers for their support.”

According to Companies House the company was formed in 2011 and has had six officer resignations.

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