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Npower fined £60,000 for persistent nuisance calls

Rebecca Rutt
by Lovemoney Staff Rebecca Rutt on 06 December 2012  |  Comments 15 comments

Npower is the latest energy company to be fined by the regulator, this time for nuisance calls.

Npower fined £60,000 for persistent nuisance calls

Energy giant Npower has been fined £60,000 by the regulator Ofcom after it was found to have made repeated abandoned calls to customers.

The calls made by Npower between 1st February and 21st March 2011 were found to be in breach of legislation found in the Communications Act 2003 and Ofcom rules.

An abandoned call means when a customer picks up the phone they will hear pre-recorded information rather than an actual human voice. Npower was also found guilty of playing marketing messages to customers during some of these calls.

Automatic diallers are used by companies to make abandoned calls to maximise the number of people they can reach. But there is a limit imposed by Ofcom on the number of these calls a company can make.

Ofcom says Npower will be providing compensation to those who have suffered because of this. Those affected will be contacted and will receive a £10 high street shopping voucher.

The maximum fine for making too many of these calls was raised to £2 million in September 2010.

Isolated incident

Npower has apologised and said: “We have good controls in place and believe that these instances were isolated exceptions.”

With regards to the marketing messages, it said: "We included the message to help explain why we were calling but we accept the finding and had already removed these words in early July last year."

E.ON fines

Npower is not the only energy company to be fined recently. Last month E.ON was ordered to pay back £1.4 million to customers who had been wrongly overcharged.

This was due to a mistake in the pricing and affected around 94,000 customers which were identified and contacted.

What do you think about the latest fine? Is it enough? Let us know in the comment box below.

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Comments (15)

  • Arblaster
    Love rating 43
    Arblaster said

    Npower should be banned from trading, and, in my opinion, some of its execs should be jailed. Some members of my family were harassed for non-payment of bills by this company's debt collectors. Before you say they should pay their bills, I will point out that their property was not supplied by Npower, nor had it ever been. Nonetheless, they were threatening to cut off the power supply to the house, even though a two-year-old child was living there. My family asked me to sort it out. So I spent two-thirds of a whole day on the phone trying to get through to their so-called customer care department. Luckily I had the sense to telephone through their sales department, which is an 0800 number. After continually speaking to people who were either surly or sounded as though they had just been smacked over the head with a sledgehammer, I was finally put through to a manager. When I told her that Npower did not actually supply the property in question, she slammed the phone down.

    I also got to speak to Npower's debt collectors. And when their own debt collectors are moaning about them, then you know you ought to switch suppliers, even if it will cost you a little more. If you are supplied by someone else, avoid Npower.

    Report on 07 December 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • coloratura
    Love rating 81
    coloratura said

    British Gas also kept making nuisance calls to me last year. They had sent a first bill but not a red second bill although they claimed they had but they hadn't (I was in the middle of examinations at the time) and then kept on calling and calling (with a human caller who was verbally extremely threatening - I live on my own and found this very harrowing) - probably in the region of 10 times in one day. I told them I was in the middle of working but they would not stop calling and I had even told them on numerous occasions to take my phone number off their list and not to phone me at home. In the end I had to threaten to take matters to my solicitor. I have never failed to pay a bill and have been with the company for about 30 years so they had plenty of back records to look at. They then took to using abandoned calls which at first I answered and even phoned the number back and told them again not to phone me at home. These have now ceased of late, no doubt due to the above ruling. I suspect these calls have been used country-wide. I would say that £60,000 is not enough but the more they are fined the more they will pass it on to customers. I think that offending companies should be put into liquidation if they make these unsolicited and threatening calls (and by the way I own some Centrica/BG shares - yes I want to earn a dividend but don't believe in hounding people - they can take persistent non-payers to court).

    Report on 08 December 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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