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Scottish Power sales ban threat over customer service

Ofgem is investigating Scottish Power's treatment of customers. Credit: PA

Big Six energy supplier Scottish Power was today ordered by regulator Ofgem to improve the way it deals with customers or face a sales ban.

Ofgem found the firm was making customers wait for too long on the telephone, forcing a quarter of calls to be abandoned, while too many bills were also being sent out late.

Ofgem warned the Spanish-owned firm that failure to meet new targets would result in it having to suspend sales activities.

It has separately launched an investigation into the gas and electricity supplier's treatment of customers.

Energy companies to make improvements 'for £12 less'

Energy providers will have to improve their services by "£12 a year less" than they normally would and then pass those savings on to consumers, OfGem have announced.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain OfGem's Maxine Frerk, said the changes should come into force "from next April" and savings "should flow into customer's bills from that point".

Energy customers to get extra storm compensation

Compensation for energy customers, who have been left without power for more than a day during severe weather, has been tripled.

Energy regulator Ofgem is to take action against two power companies, who have already paid out £4.7 million to powerless homes, for even more compensation.

ITV News correspondent Nina Nannar reports:

Ofgem storm probe: 'Companies could have done more'

Ofgem has said "companies could have done more" to help customers during last year's winter storms, when power cuts affected nearly a million homes.

Chertsey in Surrey was one of the areas hit by floods last Christmas. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Ofgem's Maxine Frerk said:

A power cut at Christmas time is the last thing anyone needs.

While we recognise the hard work of the companies and their staff who were out working to reconnect customers during the severe weather, the companies could have done more to plan for the weather and keep customers informed.

– Maxine Frerk, Ofgem's senior partner for distribution

The energy regulator is to more than double the minimum compensation payment for households that suffer power losses due to severe weather.

Ofgem said the planned changes should "strengthen the incentives for companies to act quickly" and reconnect customers as soon as possible.

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