Since the news broke last week about the record £10.5M fine imposed by OFGEM on energy supplier SSE for mis-selling, we have been asked by a number of our clients how this will affect their contract with SSE.
The first thing to be clear of is that the mis-selling this fine related to is for pre-dominantly domestic customers who have been sold a contract either in-store, by phone or on their doorstep.
Most business customers will not have bought their energy contract this way and will instead have agreed a fix price for their energy supply over a pre-determined duration, often 12 months (if you have not agreed a contract within the last 9 months we would recommend you contact Auditel for an informal discussion to see if better value can be obtained for you). As a safeguard, if you have agreed a contract (with SSE or any other supplier) we would recommend that you check your current invoices agree with the rates you originally contracted to ensure they are correct.
Some customers have questioned whether the size of the fine may affect the customer service experience provided by SSE in the future. SSE posted half yearly profits of £398M last November and the fine, although it may seem enormous to most of us, represents less than 3% of the half yearly profits.
Finally, it was interesting to read that one of the main reasons given for the mis-selling was that customers did not understand the products they had purchased. Perhaps a good reasons to seek professional independent advice when renewing your energy contracts ?