22 Aug 14

EDF Energy - Response to Ofgem investigation into complaint handling

- EDF Energy agrees to pay £3m to benefit vulnerable customers

- The investigation refers to a period between May 2011 and January 2012 while a new IT system was being introduced

- Hundreds of extra staff were recruited to restore service levels

EDF Energy has agreed to pay £3m to benefit vulnerable customers following an Ofgem investigation into the company’s complaint handling during the final stages of introducing a new customer service IT system in 2011.

Despite careful planning and investment in resources to manage the transition of the new system over an 18 month period, some EDF Energy customers experienced long call waiting times in the latter part of 2011.

As soon as the problems emerged, following a number of unforeseen technical system problems, EDF Energy suspended the transfer of customer accounts into the new system. Actions were taken to resolve these technical problems and hundreds of additional staff were recruited to restore service levels.

Although Ofgem recognised the efforts and investment made by EDF Energy staff in seeking to address the issues resulting from the implementation of its new IT system, Ofgem ruled that too many of its customers were caused significant disruption, evidenced by an increase in customer complaints between May 2011 and January 2012.

EDF Energy has publicly acknowledged that the service to customers was not acceptable through this period and has co-operated fully with Ofgem throughout the investigation. As a result EDF Energy has accepted the findings and has agreed to make payments of £3m to benefit vulnerable customers.

The £3m package will be donated to not-for-profit initiatives that provide free advice to vulnerable customers regarding debt and energy – the Citizens Advice ‘Energy Best Deal’ Extra scheme and the Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau’s Debt Helpline.

Beatrice Bigois, EDF Energy’s Managing Director of Customers, said: “Despite our best efforts and extensive planning to manage this transition in 2011 without impacting our customers, we recognise that for a period of time the service to our customers was not up to the standards they deserve. We apologise to those customers who were impacted during this period.

“We have cooperated fully with Ofgem and have taken this matter very seriously. The £3m package that we are offering will ensure that thousands of vulnerable customers are provided with free, independent advice on debt, as well as information to help them manage their energy consumption and bills.”

ENDS

For further information contact the EDF Energy press office:

Charlotte Mitchell – 0207 752 2196 charlotte.mitchell@edfenergy.com
Steph Aukstikalnis – 0207 752 2266 steph.aukstikalnis@edfenergy.com