Npower will pay 'vulnerable' customers after Ofgem criticism

The Northern Echo: Npower will pay out £3.5m to customers after it was criticised by Ofgem Npower will pay out £3.5m to customers after it was criticised by Ofgem

AN energy firm sending hundreds of North-East jobs to India will pay £3.5m to vulnerable customers after it was found to have breached energy sales rules.

Npower will pay out after criticism from regulator Ofgem, who said its doorstep and telesales staff failed customers by not giving sufficient information to make informed decisions over switching suppliers.

Npower remedied the shortcoming in September last year, but has agreed to pay at least £25 to every customer who receive the Warm Home Discount.

Last month, Npower revealed plans to cut 430 jobs at its Rainton Bridge site, in Houghton-le-Spring, Wearside and close brances in Thornaby, near Stockton, and Peterlee, east Durham.

Ofgem says the company failed to gain enough information about customers' energy consumption to enable them to decide on any changes.

The regulator also said Npower hadn't ensured comparisons between the price of its supply and that of the customer's current supplier were always based on the tariff that people were on.

Paul Massara, Npower chief executive, said: “We've worked very closely with Ofgem as they have investigated these previous issues.

“It is good to draw a line under this, so we can focus on our goal of becoming number one for customer experience by the end of 2015.”

Npower's North-East job cuts would affect administrative roles, such as staff checking meter readings against customer bills.

The back-office jobs are being sent to Tata Consultancy Services, in Bangalore, which already employs 600 staff working on npower accounts.

However, it said no redundancies are being made among the 500 staff at Thornaby, who will be bussed to the Rainton Bridge site for the next three years.

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