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Shell Energy’s ‘Forgetful’ Faux Pas Costs Them a Pretty Penny

Posted by John Donovan: 21 November 2023

In a classic case of ‘Oh, did we forget to mention that?’, Shell Energy has been slapped with a £1.4 million fine for a bit of a boo-boo. They didn’t quite get around to telling over 70,000 customers that their phone and broadband contracts were ending. And that’s not all – they also forgot to fill them in on potentially better deals. Whoops!

Ofcom Says ‘No-No’ to Shell’s Go-Slow on Contract Alerts

Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator and not one to let things slide, found Shell playing fast and loose with rules meant to keep customers in the know. These 2020 rules are like your nagging friend who reminds you about your gym membership renewal – they’re there to make sure you don’t miss out on better offers.

Shell’s Notification Nightmare: A Mix of Missing and Misleading Messages

Shell’s little mishap, spanning from March 2020 to June 2022, involved either forgetting to send notifications or sending ones with the wrong info. Imagine being told you’ll pay X but then, surprise, it’s actually Y. About 7,750 customers were given the wrong price, averaging an extra £65.81 each. Not exactly pocket change, right?

Ofcom’s Stern Schooling: ‘Play By the Rules, Or Else…’

Suzanne Cater, Ofcom’s enforcement director and not one to mince words, was clear: these rules are no joke. They’re there to help customers save a pound or two by switching providers or grabbing a better deal. Shell’s oversight was not just a tiny oops but a serious breach of consumer trust.

Shell’s Mea Culpa: ‘Sorry We Missed You’

Shell Energy, in a moment of rare humility, admitted to dropping the ball. They’ve been busy bees since, self-reporting the blunder, fixing the issue, and compensating customers. They even said sorry (gasp!). And get this – they’ve apparently been getting fewer complaints lately. Maybe there’s hope after all?

Refund Roulette: Shell’s Charity Gambit and Ofcom’s Refund Mandate

Shell decided to play Santa Claus with refunds under £3, donating them to charity. But Ofcom, ever the stickler, wants those customers to get their due if they ask for it. Last year, Shell was also fined by Ofgem for overcharging customers on prepayment meters.

The Bottom Line: Shell’s Expensive Lesson in Customer Care

This £1.4 million fine, a bit lighter thanks to Shell’s quick admission, is due to HM Treasury pronto. Shell’s little slip-up, while costly, is a stark reminder: in the world of customer service, it’s the little things that count. And when you forget those little things, well, it can cost you a not-so-little fortune.

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