Energy firm Eon has become the latest firm to feel the heat on social media, after it sent socks to 30,000 customers as part of an energy saving campaign.
The garment giveaway from its renewable energy household supplier Eon Next angered customers, who criticised the firm for an insensitive response to the embroiling energy crisis that could see UK households facing a 50 per cent price hike in April.
The socks depict a sun hugging planet earth, labelled with the pun ‘leaving lighter footprints’.
Angry customers took to Twitter to criticise the free deliveries, with users describing the gesture as ‘pitiful’ and ‘a joke’.
Others questioned the carbon footprint of making the socks, and said the money would have been better spent containing energy bills.
Eon told City A.M. it was ‘incredibly sorry’ that the socks upset some of its customers, and said the activity was not supposed to downplay the current energy crisis.
A spokesperson said: “This activity was in no way designed to detract from the seriousness of the current energy crisis and the work we are doing to lessen its impact on our customers and we’re incredibly sorry for how we have made some of our customers feel. This campaign originally went ahead last year and was intended as a fun way to encourage people to think about ‘lightening your carbon footprint’ and isn’t meant to be anything to do with the current challenges many people are facing.”
The developments cap off a miserable week for public relations between energy firms and customers.
On Tuesday, Ovo Energy boss Stephen Fitzpatrick apologised after his firm advised customers to keep warm by eating porridge, having a hula-hoop contest and hugging their pets.
It is now set to cut a quarter of its staff as it looks to navigate market volatility and soaring wholesale costs, with dozens of suppliers collapsing since last September, directly affecting four million customers.