UK energy company could close due to poor customer service

Due to complaints about poor customer service, Energy supplier Solarplicity has been banned by regulator Ofgem from taking new customers.

The ban will be imposed on the firm for three months, and will only be lifted if the company proves that it has made improvements in its service to both existing customers, and new customers trying to switch.

Ofgem has warned that Solarplicity could even have its license revoked if it didn’t make changes. This follows the closure of other smaller energy suppliers in the UK recently: for example, Future Energy, Economy Energy, Iresa Energy, and One Select.

Solarplicity has 60,000 customers at the moment. It has been banned from taking more, as well as being prohibited from increasing the payments of its existing vulnerable customers.

Ofgem has highlighted the areas that the company needs to make improvements in:

  • To improve call waiting times and bring down call abandonment rates, it needs to improve its customer service channels and make sure they’re managed properly.
  • It needs to ensure all complaints are dealt with as quickly as possible.
  • The switching process needs to be improved so switches are completed within the required timescale.

Mary Starks, executive director at Ofgem, said: “We have taken action against Solarplicity to protect its customers from experiencing further detriment. Solarplicity must get its house in order and provide a level of service that its customers expect.”

“If not, Ofgem will take the necessary steps to ensure customers are further protected and will take the relevant action needed to do this, which may result in its license being revoked.”

A Solarplicity spokesperson said: “We are committed to meeting the expectations of every single Solarplicity customer, but Ofgem’s decision, which was made on old historical data, disregards the vast improvements that we have made to our customer service.”

“In November, Which? rated us as the fastest energy company to respond to customer calls thanks to substantial additional investment in our staff and IT systems. This investment has also significantly strengthened our account switching service, and the vast majority of our customers are able to switch their accounts well within the 21 day limit.”

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