British Gas has paid £1.73mln in compensation after a botched change to pre-payment meter arrangements at the start of the year.
The Centrica PLC (LON:CNA) subsidiary neglected to tell thousands of customers that it had switched top-up provider on 1 January, said regulator Ofgem.
As well as the change of provider (to Payzone from Paypoint), the minimum top-up also went up to £5 from £1, something that British Gas also failed to notify to 270,000 customers.
Ofgem added that British Gas had no-one manning the indicated phone line on the day of the changeover while some of the letters had an internet address only, a major oversight giving pre-payment meters are used by some of its most vulnerable customers.
British Gas said it had apologised to those affected and had paid £1.48mln in compensation plus £250,000 into Ofgem’s voluntary redress fund.
“We know that some pre-payment customers are vulnerable and we take our responsibilities to them very seriously,” the energy supplier said.
“We ensured that anyone who contacted us had heating and hot water – this included sending an engineer to manually add credit to the meter if the customer was unable to get to their nearest working top-up point.”