Scottish Gas owner British Gas has paid out a total of £1.1 million in compensation after its agents missed appointments in breach of industry standards.
The energy firm made the payments – £90 each to more than 12,000 customers – to domestic and micro-business customers after its third-party agents missed appointments or turned up late and did not compensate them.
British Gas reported the breach to industry regulator Ofgem, which agreed to the firm’s redress package and is therefore not taking formal enforcement action.
Martin Crouch, Ofgem senior partner for improving regulation, said: “British Gas did the right thing in coming forward to report this issue, and has since improved its processes to make sure that, when appointments are missed or not kept on time, all customers receive the compensation they’re entitled to.
“It’s crucial that suppliers keep appointments on time, and make amends when things go wrong.”
As part of the compensation package, British Gas paid out £30 for an initial failed appointment and £30 for not paying customers within the required ten days.
In addition, the group has paid an extra £30 to each affected customer.
Ofgem said: “Suppliers and their agents must meet minimum standards of customer service under Ofgem’s Guaranteed Standards, including when they visit customers on their premises.
“If they don’t meet these standards, they must pay customers compensation.
“This year, British Gas came forward to Ofgem and reported that due to process errors, it hadn’t paid compensation to some micro-business and domestic customers when agents missed appointments or did not keep them on time.”
A British Gas spokesman said: “We discovered the error last year and reported it to Ofgem. We have apologised to the affected customers, given them all compensation and an additional goodwill payment. In April this year we introduced new system checks to ensure this can’t happen again.”
Mark Todd, co-founder of Energyhelpline,said: “Like when trains are late, British Gas has paid out compensation of between £60 and £90 for its representatives missing or turning up late for appointments relating to customer’s energy. We applaud British Gas for coming clean on these issues.”