Review of LEB Charter Mark
Friday 20 June 1997
Peter Kilfoyle, the Public Service Minister, said he was reviewing whether London should be allowed to continue using the prestigious Charter Mark as a matter of urgency in the wake of a dramatic rise in complaints in the past six months.
Offer, the electricity industry watchdog, has compiled a dossier on London disclosing that staff routinely fail to comply with regulations, ignore voluntary codes of conduct and fail to respond properly to customer complaints.
In one instance, Offer had to threaten the company with criminal proceedings to end its practice of changing supply meters, the accuracy of which was in doubt, before they had been checked by an independent meter examiner.
In a letter to the Cabinet Office, Offer's London regional manager said: "The theme running through all this is one of customers being disadvantaged and deprived of their rights."
Last year complaints against London, now owned by the US utility Entergy, rose by 23.5 per cent but specific complaints about quality of supply more than doubled. In its letter, Offer criticises the company over its policy of compulsorily installing pre-payment meters as a means of recovering debt, although metering is only supposed to be installed where it is "safe and practicable".
It also takes London to task for unilaterally changing the terms of direct debit mandates without consultation, describing it as "symptomatic of the high-handed and somewhat arrogant attitude which this company frequently manifests to its customers".
Officials from the Cabinet Office's Charter Unit are meeting the company to decide whether the mark, first awarded in 1995 for excellent service, should be removed.
Under legislation introduced in 1993 electricity customers have an automatic right to compensation where suppliers fail to meet specified standards of service.
- 4 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 5 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party is the right choice for you
General election: Conservatives mocked online over Boris Johnson's claim of SNP 'jockalypse'
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...
£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...