April 5, 2013 2:48 pm

Compensation for SSE customers

an elderly man warms himself in front of a gas fire©Getty

More than 20,000 customers who bought gas or electricity from the energy company SSE could be in line for compensation after Ofgem, the energy regulator, uncovered evidence of “prolonged and extensive” mis-selling.

SSE was fined £10.5m after the watchdog found that sales staff had used misleading scripts to encourage people to switch their accounts to the company. The mis-selling included customers being told they would save money by switching to SSE, only to find their bills went up as a result.

Ofgem says that “upwards of 20,000” customers have been affected by these sales activities, which stretch back to October 2009, and is encouraging anyone who thinks they may have been affected to call SSE’s dedicated claim line on 0800 975 3341.

Some customers whose energy is supplied by Marks & Spencer may also be entitled to compensation, as M&S Energy’s supplier is SSE. The in-store policies Ofgem refers to were those sold within M&S stores by SSE agents.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of consumer group Which?, described SSE’s practices as “completely unacceptable” and said: “With scandals like this it’s no wonder that less than a quarter of people say they trust energy companies.”

The fine comes as Ofgem, the regulator, presses ahead with tough reforms to make the market “simpler, clearer and fairer” with measures to cut the number of tariffs and encourage switching.

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