British Gas has been forced to compensate 4,300 customers to the tune of £566,000 after overstating the savings they would make on their energy costs on tariffs sold in Sainsbury’s stores nationwide and in Westfield shopping centre.
The energy giant will also have to pay £434,000 into the British Gas Energy Trust as it was unable to contact around 1,300 ex-customers who could also have been entitled to compensation.
Jeremy Cryer, energy spokesperson at Gocompare.com, said: “£1,000,000 is a drop in the ocean to British Gas owner Centrica, which made a £2.7bn profit last year. However, this is another blow to public trust for the best known name in the UK energy industry at a time when energy companies are already facing an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority.
“Seeing another of the ‘big six’ energy companies in the headlines for all the wrong reasons could push even more customers to consider switching to one of the smaller providers which have less tarnished reputations. According to a recent study by Gocompare.com, 71% of customers who switched their energy tariffs in March and April this year opted for a smaller provider.*
“All suppliers, large and small, are regulated by Ofgem, and as such consumers are protected in the same way no matter who they buy their energy from. So if you’re fed up with how your energy provider is treating you, find the best deal with a different supplier and switch to it.”
For more information about how to switch your gas and electricity, visit: www.gocompare.com/gas-and-electricity/guide/.
Notes to editors
*Based on customers who switched energy provider using Gocompare.com between 20 February 2014 and 1 May 2014.