Response to Ofgem’s decision on the way forward on Switching Compensation for Supplier Guaranteed Standards of Performance
Automatic compensation is a powerful tool, that should incentivise suppliers to improve their processes and remove the need for consumers to use stressful processes applying for compensation. Recent Citizens Advice research identified energy switching as a good candidate for new automatic compensation, because suppliers should be able to easily identify when standards have not been met, and be readily able to contact and pay the consumer for the service failure.
We support Ofgem’s decision to proceed with the implementation of new Guaranteed Standards related to the resolution of erroneous transfers (ETs). Prolonged resolution of these issues can cause significant stress, hassle and cost consumers money by preventing them switching to a better deal.
We strongly support the decision to introduce a new Guaranteed Standard on credit refunds. Timely refunds of credit are vital for consumers, who can be out of pocket in the short term during a switch, especially if their new supplier charges in advance. Consumers who use smart prepay are also particularly at risk, as they have to wait for any leftover credit on their meter to be refunded.
We agree with Ofgem’s decision to delay implementation of Guaranteed Standards on timely switches, preventing erroneous transfers and final bills subject to further development of how these will work in practice. We look forward to working with Ofgem to develop the second stage of the Guaranteed Standards.
We are very disappointed that Ofgem has decided to limit the scope of the Standards to domestic customers. We will continue to argue the case for including micro-business customers as Ofgem develops the next stage of the Guaranteed Standards.