Ofgem pledges to take ‘strong action’ to tackle ‘unfair’ increases in direct debits
Ofgem has pledged to crack down on reported increases in direct debits.
Speaking to the Scottish Parliament’s Net Zero Committee, Neil Lawrence, retail director at Ofgem, said: “This is a troubling time for consumers and people are struggling to pay their bills.
“We were aware of a number of reports of levy increases and earlier this year we announced a series of market compliance reviews, the first of which was direct debit to review, how providers of increase direct debits, are they fair?
“It’s a very invasive review, so we collect a range of data, we also review management control frameworks.
“Direct debits can increase for a variety of reasons, but rest assured that where I find, where my colleagues find that suppliers have not treated customers fairly, we will take strong action on this because customers need to receive a fair price for their energy.
“So we are going to take this very seriously. We are there and I look forward to receiving the results of our compliance work.
A report a few days ago suggested that around 25% of reported customers had seen their energy withdrawals double in the past few months.
Earlier this month, energy companies were given a three-week deadline to justify the increases.
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