Ofgem has confirmed the provisional order that prevents Iresa from taking on new customers, one off payments and increasing direct debits for the foreseeable future after the supplier failed to resolve all its customer service failings.
In March, Ofgem imposed a provisional order banning Iresa from these activities for three months.
As part of the provisional order, Ofgem set targets for Iresa to improve its customer service over three months, which if met may have resulted in the temporary ban being lifted. These included extending call centre hours, improving call waiting times and responding to customer emails more quickly.
Since then Iresa has significantly reduced its call waiting times but has not made enough progress in reducing the backlog of customers’ emails.
Iresa is also starting to show signs of improvement in how it handles complaints and how it manages its vulnerable customers, but this is not currently good enough nor has been sustained for a reasonable period of time.
The confirmed provisional order will remain in place until Ofgem sees a significant improvement in Iresa’s customer service.
If it continues to fail to meet the requirements set out in the confirmed provisional order, Ofgem could start the process of revoking the supplier’s licence to operate.
Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “Iresa continues to let its customers down by failing to provide a level of service its customers deserve.
“Although it has made some improvements since we issued the provisional order in March, the supplier has been unable to meet all the requirements we set it three months ago to get its house in order.
“Ofgem will step in to protect consumers if any supplier fails to provide a satisfactory level of customer service and will take firm action against those flouting the rules, which could include a supplier’s licence being taken away.”