Npower faces shutdown of its marketing

Energy regulator Ofgem could suspend the marketing activities of gas and electricity provider npower if the company fails to improve the practices of its sales agents by January.

Ofgem has issued a warning to the energy company for so far failing to meet a raft of undertakings concerning its telephone and doorstep selling techniques given by the regulator earlier this year.

In January, Ofgem and npower agreed undertakings aimed at improving the performance of the company and its sales agents in selling gas and electricity to domestic customers.

However, the number of complaints about npower has remained above the industry average, prompting Ofgem to issue its latest warning.

Earlier this year consumer organisation Energywatch conducted a study showing that npower attracted the most complaints among gas providers for its marketing techniques, as well as a higher-than-average number of complaints for the marketing of its electricity service.

A spokesman for Ofgem says: “In case npower is unable to meet its undertakings fully by next January, one of the first steps that we can take is to suspend its marketing activities. We can stop npower from taking on any new customers, and this can have an effect on its advertising.”

Npower insists it has met most of the interim objectives agreed with Ofgem, and says that in some areas the exact assessment of some of the measures is subject to clarification with Ofgem and Energywatch.

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