Financial News

  • 7 July 2014, 9:42

British Gas In Shopping Centre Mis-Selling

British Gas has agreed a 1m compensation package for mis-selling to customers in shopping outlets.

Energy regulator Ofgem said British Gas staff made exaggerated savings claims to prospective customers - and did not compare tariffs on a like-for-like basis.

The mis-selling took place at Sainsbury's stores across the country and in the Westfield shopping centre in west London.

A total of 566,000 in direct compensation was paid to affected customers and 434,000 to help vulnerable customers via the British Gas Energy Trust.

The mis-selling took place between February 2011 and March 2013.

In some cases, customers were also told that they would save money by switching, but in fact they paid more with Sainsbury's Energy or British Gas than they would have paid if they had remained with their current supplier.

British Gas Residential Managing Director Ian Peters said: "We are very sorry and have ensured no customer will be out of pocket as a result.

"We're pleased that Ofgem the energy regulator recognises the actions we have taken to ensure the right outcome for our customers.

"We pride ourselves on our high standards and it is extremely disappointing when even a relatively small number of customers don't receive the service they expect from us."

British Gas became aware of this issue and reported it to Ofgem voluntarily in April 2013.

It took immediate action to correct the issues and Ofgem accepted the 1m consumer package in lieu of opening a formal investigation.

The regulator's senior partner in charge of enforcement, Sarah Harrison, said: "Ofgem welcomes British Gas' action to tackle its sales failures and compensate customers quickly when it became aware of mis-selling.

"Ofgem expects all suppliers to put this poor behaviour behind them and really start acting in a way that will help consumers trust energy suppliers.

"Where they don't, Ofgem will act."

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