Press Statement from Neil Clitheroe, CEO ScottishPower Retail & Generation
ScottishPower is committed to delivering the best service possible and treating our customers fairly. We have a long track record of delivering high standards of service to our customers. In recent years, we have consistently been towards the top of industry service league tables, whether it be the professionalism of our call centre team, value for money or the quality of our online service.
To further improve our customer service, we invested £200 million on a new customer management system. All of our customer accounts have now been transferred on to the new system and we are starting to see some of the benefits of that system being delivered, such as extending our call centre opening hours to the longest in the industry and an “industry-first” online direct debit management service.
The process of moving to our new system however has been challenging and resulted in service problems for some of our customers. We unreservedly apologise for these problems. It is simply not the high service standard long associated with ScottishPower, nor the customer service standards industry regulator OFGEM expects. We are determined to put it right. We are working hard to make it easier for our customers to contact us and to answer every call, email and complaint as soon as we can. We are increasing our staff by a further 250 people on top of the additional 450 people already recruited earlier this year to manage all customer contact and complaints as quickly as possible.
In addition, following discussions with OFGEM, we have voluntarily set ourselves challenging improvement targets for the coming months:-
Energy Ombudsman Remedies
• We will ensure every Energy Ombudsman resolution will be implemented within the 28 day timeframe by the end of November
Overdue live bills
• We will reduce the number of our overdue live bills to no more than 30,000 by the end of December
Prompt responses to all customer queries
• We will speed up answering incoming calls, so that the average speed of answer is 2 minutes by the end of January
If we are not able to meet one or more of these targets within the specified time frame, we have committed to OFGEM that we will suspend our outbound sales activities until they have been met. During November, we will start to publish up to date tracking information against each of these targets on our website, so customers can assess our progress.
We have also reinforced to OFGEM that we continue to standby our commitment to write individually to all customers that have experienced a service problem due to the new system implementation to ensure that no customer will be left out of pocket. We will correct problems, pay appropriate compensation and ensure no customer is left financially disadvantaged.
We are all fully committed to deliver these service improvements, return to the high service standards long associated with ScottishPower and ensure that our customers realise the very real benefits of our IT system investment.