We were hugely disappointed to see some of the conduct in a recent video and we deeply regret misconduct by individual employees. The inappropriate statements attributed to our team member in press reports do not represent the views of the company and are not aligned to our values, culture, or how we train our people to interact with customers.
Our customers are always our first priority. We work alongside our clients and partners to support customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills.
Our aim is to make contact with the customers, understand their individual circumstances and identify any form of vulnerability. Very often we are able to get the energy supplier’s customers back on track there and then, for example by assisting them to agree a new payment schedule with them or taking a manageable payment plan.
We also signpost customers to additional support, such as debt advice, help from their local authority or grants for which they might be eligible.
Our teams are trained and incentivised to always find the best outcome for the energy supplier’s customer, whatever that may be.
In all we do, we adhere to industry standards set by Ofgem as well as other regulatory bodies and act in accordance with our contractual obligations to our clients, and the standards they expect us to meet.
When a customer is in arrears with their energy bills, UK law allows energy suppliers and their representatives to apply to the court for a warrant. If granted by the court this entry warrant allows them to enter the customer’s home. Where needed this is done by a locksmith who will do so with the minimum amount of damage. The property is left secure after the visit.
This is always a last resort – usually after many months of trying to contact or reach agreement with the customer through a number of other methods, including letter and telephone. If the energy supplier identifies a customer as suitable for a Pre-Payment Meter (PPM) installation, the energy company will ask us to apply for a warrant to secure legal access to the customers home. The customer will always get at least 21 days’ notice of the visit. If the customer is able to come to an agreement with their energy supplier to tackle the arrears the warrant process can be stopped.
Our culture, training and approach is focused on treating people with respect, and we expect our staff to do so at all times, whilst carefully assessing the individual needs of customers in advance of, and at the time of, any visit.