'Misleading claims' cost EDF a £4.5m payout from watchdog
Britain's energy regulator has effectively slapped a £4.5m fine on EDF Energy after finding sales staff at the "big six" utilities group guilty of making misleading claims.
Ofgem is forcing EDF to pay £3.5m in customer rebates and a £1m payment to a Citizens Advice Bureau fund as part of a settlement after finding that its sales staff had breached some rules on the marketing of its products.
The regulator found some doorstep sales staff failed to provide potential customers with complete information on tariff contract terms and how bills would be calculated.
Meanwhile, telesales staff made opening statements in calls to potential customers claiming to be able to save them money before knowing their circumstances and whether they were eligible for that tariff.
EDF will give about £50 each to 70,000 of its poorest and most vulnerable customers – at a cost of £3.5m – and pay £1m to a fund run by the Citizens Advice bureau to raise awareness among customers on how to get the best tariff.
The £3.5m customer payout is the first agreement between an energy firm and Ofgem to rebate customers who were not necessarily affected by the misleading sales techniques – in contrast to the usual practice of redressing victims of wrongdoing.
Ofgem and EDF insisted the payments were not a fine and said they served its customers better than a penalty – although, either way, they were a punishment for wrongdoing.
EDF and Ofgem said the energy group had not been found guilty of mis-selling. However, EDF did acknowledge "limited shortcomings".
EDF managing director Martin Lawrence said: "We're obviously disappointed that we failed to live up to the high standards that we expect of ourselves."
The agreement between Ofgem and EDF is part of an ongoing investigation into the energy companies' marketing practices. The regulator is continuing to monitor Scottish Power, SSE and npower.
- 1 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway in dense fog
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway in dense fog
George Clooney and Amal fail to get special treatment at New York restaurant
Cindy Crawford 'un-PhotoShopped' viral Marie Claire image was doctored, photographer claims
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...
£36,000 - £40,000: Christine McCleave: Are you looking for a new opportunity a...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...