Energy regulator Ofgem has opened an investigation into gas and electricity supplier Iresa's customer service.
The investigation, launched this morning, will examine whether Iresa – which has about 100,000 customers – broke rules relating to customer information and customer contact.
It's been prompted by Ofgem receiving a "high level" of complaints against Iresa, including through charity Citizens Advice and its own consumer affairs teams.
Last month we reported that Iresa had suddenly hiked some customers' direct debits by up to 20% and some were facing long call times when trying to get through to customer services.
The firm is also one we've long warned against in our Cheap Energy Club switching info due to poor customer service.
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Who is Iresa?
Small provider Iresa began supplying gas and electricity to households in Britain in March 2016.
It's often been the cheapest on the market (based on typical use) since it launched, and so has appeared at the top of many people's energy comparisons over the past few years.
Our Cheap Energy Club first received a number of reports from users struggling to get in contact with the supplier early last year – leading us to put up a warning message about this on our energy comparison results last July.
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What is Iresa being investigated for?
Ofgem will examine whether Iresa:
- Treated customers fairly in its call handling and complaints processes
- Gave indebted customers sufficient notice that it was taking a debt repayment out of their account or established with these customers their ability to pay the debt
- Enabled customers to switch suppliers on request, in line with Ofgem's rules
- Refunded customers in a "prompt and timely way"
Ofgem points out that the opening of this investigation does not imply that it has made any findings about Iresa not complying with its rules.
What does Iresa say?
An Iresa spokesperson told us: "Iresa is currently looking at different issues raised by Ofgem.
"We continue to address these issues with aim of improving our customers experience."