Scottish Power has been ordered to pay £15 million to customers for IT failings that resulted in more than 300,000 people either receiving their energy bills late or for the wrong amount.
An investigation by energy regulator Ofgem found that Scottish Power failed to treat customers fairly and protect them from issues that arose from technical failures following the implementation of a new IT system between June 2013 and December 2015.
The total fine Scottish Power has been ordered to pay is £18 million, with £15 million to be paid to vulnerable customers who were impacted by the errors, with an additional £3 million being donated to charity.
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Am I eligible for compensation?
The £15 million being given back will go to the following groups of people:
- Priority Services Register customers who received their bill six weeks late between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016.
- Warm Homes Discount customers who received their bill six weeks late between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016.
- Customers who made formal complaints about the IT system between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016.
An Ofgem spokesperson has confirmed Scottish Power will be contacting customers directly to sort out the compensation for the repeated failings.
Between June 2013 and December 2015, Scottish Power implemented a new IT system to change the company's procedure for calculating and processing bills.
However, during the implementation period, IT glitches meant that more than 300,000 customers received their bills late or for the wrong amount.
The Ofgem investigation also found that Scottish Power made it difficult for customers to get in touch with "unacceptably long" waiting times resulting in over one million complaints.
In addition the company failed to implement thousands of Ombudsman rulings within the required 28-day period.
How has Scottish Power responded?
Neil Clitheroe, Scottish Power's CEO of energy retail and generation, says: "Scottish Power has worked with Ofgem throughout this investigation. We apologise unreservedly to those customers affected.
"I gave a guarantee that no customer would be left out of pocket by these issues and we continue to compensate customers who have been affected."