British Gas fined £5.6m for blocking firms from switching
Ofgem has ordered British Gas to pay £5.6m in compensation and fined them for blocking businesses from switching suppliers and failing to tell others their contracts were ending.
The energy regulator stated that British Gas had already paid £1.3m to affected customers and would pay a further £3.45m into an energy efficiency fund, plus an £800,000 penalty.
The payments come after two investigations by Ofgem into British Gas Business.
The first, launched in 2012, found that a computer error meant 5.6% of objections it made to customers switching suppliers between 2007 and 2012 were "invalid".
The second found that around 1,200 mainly small business customers were not given notice that their tariff was about to expire.
Ofgem said British Gas had moved quickly to rectify the mistakes, something reflected in the amount it has been ordered to pay.
Sarah Harrison, Ofgem's senior partner in charge of enforcement, said: "The ability for consumers to switch easily and fairly is key to a well-functioning energy market.
"In these cases British Gas Business failed consumers who were wrongly blocked from switching, many of them small businesses, and denied others the chance to switch to a better deal at the end of their contract."
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