E.On Next has been ordered by Ofgem to pay more than half a million customers £5 million in compensation for “unacceptable” complaints handling in call services.
The energy watchdog reviewed the customer service standards and found “severe weaknesses” at the company.
Ofgem found that customers faced long call waiting times with them being on hold for 18 minutes on average and around half of all calls were left unanswered.
E.On Next will pay 500,000 customers where were potentially affected around £8 each which totals £4 million.
The energy provider will also pay an additional £1 million of Ofgem’s voluntary redress fund that supports vulnerable consumers.
Cathryn Scott, director for enforcement and emerging issues at Ofgem, said this “shows Ofgem’s determination to stand up for the rights of consumers and drive up standards.”
She said, “The very least that a customer should expect of their supplier is for them to pick up the phone to them in a timely way.
“The levels of service that we discovered at E.On Next during the period of review were unacceptable.
“As the energy regulator, our purpose is to protect energy consumers and this action serves as a reminder to all suppliers that they must ensure that their customers are able to contact them quickly and easily when they need to.
“This is particularly important during this time of volatile energy prices when many households are struggling with their bills.”
An E.On spokesman said, “We won’t shy away from the fact that we weren’t at our best, but we’re heartened Ofgem recognises our efforts and our success in improving service levels even before this review began.
“We hit our agreed targets with Ofgem on day one and we’ve stayed there ever since.”