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Ofgem investigates Spark Energy

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BBC Watchdog has investigated Spark Energy.

Ofgem has launched an investigation into independent utilities supplier Spark Energy in response to information it received regarding the supplier’s complaints handling procedures, billing practices and customer switching processes.

Under the Customer Complaints Handling Standards the requirements are that suppliers should handle complaints in an efficient and timely manner. Suppliers are not allowed to block a customer from switching unless there are valid outstanding charges.

Ofgem’s billing rules state that suppliers must make all reasonable steps to ensure that customer provided meter readings are reflected in the next bill available, and must make all reasonable steps to ensure direct debit payments are based on the most accurate and recent information.

In May, Spark Energy issued a response to an article broadcast on the BBC’s ‘Watchdog’ programme where some customers claimed that they found it difficult to switch energy provider once they were under contract to the company.

The article claimed that tenants in properties let by Your Move, Foxtons and Reed Rains were automatically signed up to Spark Energy, the letting agents’ preferred energy supplier, as part of their tenancy agreement.

The referral was instigated by Consumer Futures, previously Consumer Focus.

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