An investigation has been launched by the energy regulator Ofgem into provider Iresa’s customer services processes.
The move comes amid concerns over whether Iresa treated customers fairly over the phone and during its complaints processes. It is also investigating whether Iresa gave indebted customers sufficient notice that a debt repayment would be taken out of their account or even established whether these customers had the ability to pay the debt in the first instance.
In addition, Ofgem will examine whether the energy provider enabled customers to switch on request or refunded customers’ money in a prompt and timely way.
However, the regulator does note that opening the investigation doesn’t imply that it has found any instances of non-compliance.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of charity Citizens Advice, comments: "Today’s announcement is extremely welcome. Citizens Advice reported Iresa to Ofgem in November 2017, following a number of concerns related to billing problems, long phone queues and inappropriately blocking customers from switching.
“According to our complaints handling data, Iresa is one of the poorest performing energy companies.
“New entrants to the market should face greater scrutiny. It’s currently too easy for new firms to set themselves up as energy suppliers, often before they are able to provide good quality customer service. Ultimately it is energy customers who pay the price when firms are not up to scratch.”
Moneywise has contacted Iresa for a response and will update this news story if we get one. However, on calling its customer services number, as the firm doesn’t seem to have a press office, we were number 68 in the queue.
Earlier this month, Ofgem opened an investigation into energy provider Ovo’s billing practices.
Check out Moneywise’s Energy section for more related news and money saving advice.