Scottish Power to pay out £8.5m to customers misled by badly trained staff

Scottish Power has agreed to pay consumers £8.5m following an Ofgem investigation into the energy company's selling practices.

The regulator said that Scottish Power had breached its marketing licence conditions, with customers being misled during doorstep and telephone sales approaches because of failure to "adequately train and monitor" staff. The breach took place between 2009 and 2012.

£1m of the £8.5m will go into a customer compensation fund, with the remaining £7.5m delivered to customers on the Warm Home Discount Scheme. It is estimated that over 140,000 people will receive a payment of about £50, which'll be made automatically by December of this year, along with an explanatory letter for Scottish Power.

Ofgem's senior partner in charge of enforcement Sarah Harrison said: "Today's announcement is a clear signal to energy suppliers of the consequences of breaching licence obligations and of the importance of taking action to put things right for consumers when they go wrong."

Scottish Power has accepted and rectified failings, stopping doorstep sales in 2011 and putting in place independent checks on the conduct of its telephone agents.

The company's failure to make changes would have meant a higher penalty, but Harrison says that their recognition is "an important step forward and demonstrates a commitment by ScottishPower towards re-establishing consumer trust."