EDF Energy to pay £3 million after complaints probe

AFP
A man adjusts the EDF logo before a press conference in London, September 24, 2008
A man adjusts the EDF logo before a press conference in London, September 24, 2008 (AFP Photo/Shaun Curry)

London (AFP) - The British arm of French electricity giant EDF will pay £3.0 million to help vulnerable customers after it breached complaints handling rules, regulator Ofgem said on Friday.

Ofgem said in a statement that the money, equivalent to 3.7 million euros, $5.0 million) will be used to help vulnerable customers as EDF Energy seeks to rebuild consumer trust.

The regulator found that the domestic electricity and gas provider did not have appropriate complaints handling procedures in place between May 2011 and January 2012. This resulted in significant disruption for customers, it added.

Ofgem launched a probe after EDF Energy complaints surged by more than 30 percent amid the introduction of a new IT system in 2011.

"EDF Energy failed to have sufficiently robust processes in place when they introduced a new IT system and this led to the unacceptable handling of complaints," said Sarah Harrison, Ofgem's senior partner with responsibility for enforcement.

EDF Energy said in a separate statement that it had cooperated with Ofgem throughout the investigation, adding that the £3.0 million would be paid to not-for-profit initiatives that provide free advice to vulnerable customers regarding debt and energy.