Major energy supplier to pay compensation to more than 500,000 customers for poor service – are you eligible?

epa06934674 (FILE) - The company signage at headquarters of the German energy company eon in Essen, Germany, 09 March 2017 (reissued 08 August 2018). Eon on 08 August 2018 released their first half of 2018 results, saying their adjusted net income was up up 19 per cent at 1,052 billion euro mainly attributed to good performance in energy networks, renewables and customer solutions. Eon said their full year 2018 adjusted net income is expected to be within 1.3 and 1.5 billion euro. EPA/SASCHA STEINBACH

A MAJOR energy supplier has been ordered by the regulator to pay compensation to half a million customers.

E.ON Next has been directed to pay £5million in redress to customers for poor customer services, Ofgem has announced.

E.ON Next has been ordered to pay compensation to half a million customers

Ofgem said a review of customer service standards and complaints-handling across the sector uncovered “severe weaknesses” at E.ON Next, with customers facing long call waiting times and a high level of unanswered calls.

More than 500,000 customers were potentially affected, according to Ofgem.

The regulator said E.ON Next will pay £4million to those customers most directly affected, working out at £8 each.

The supplier will also pay a further £1million to Ofgem’s voluntary redress fund, which supports vulnerable energy consumers and other innovation and carbon emission-reducing investments.

Cathryn Scott, director for enforcement and emerging issues at Ofgem, said the penalty for E.ON Next “shows Ofgem’s determination to stand up for the rights of consumers and drive up standards.”

“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 Next spokesperson said: “We had invested in improving our services even before Ofgem began its review, prioritising our most vulnerable customers with specialist teams and recruiting hundreds more energy specialists to be there for customers when they need us.

“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.”

Last month, Ofgem ordered Good Energy and Ovo to pay out £2.7million to thousands of customers who were overcharged.

Good Energy was found to have overcharged nearly 7,000 customers a total of £391,650 between January 2019 and October 2022.

This was after the provider failed to adjust tariffs after customers changed their payment method.

Meanwhile, almost 11,000 OVO Energy customers were overcharged £1,492,917 between October 2022 and March 2023.

Affected customers were told that they’d be automatically refunded.

Good Energy customers will receive £109 on average while OVO customers will get an average of £181.

E.ON Next, Good Energy and Octopus Energy were previously told to pay out a total of £8million for delaying or failing to make compensation payments owed to customers.

This was off the back of new rules which meant that customers are now entitled to compensation if their final bill is not produced within six weeks when leaving their current supplier.

Some impacted households were left over a year to be compensated.

Almost 95,000 E.On Next customers have been paid a total of £5.5million between them.

Meanwhile, Octopus Energy paid roughly £750,000 out to 19,000 customers.

Good Energy paid a combined total of £18,000 to nearly 350 customers.