Gas and electricity companies that breach regulations could be forced to compensate customers directly under plans being consulted on by the government. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said it wants to give the UK's energy regulator Ofgem, the power to "compel" the companies to pay compensation if it deems it …
How about tightening up the accuracy of the meters they use in the *first* place.
We should be able to get a better than +/- 1% readings by now.
Stop fining me...
... in the guise of fining the companies from whom I'm more or less obliged to buy. Jail the directors responsible (at their own personal expense) instead.
".......give the UK's energy regulator Ofgem, the power to "compel" the companies to pay compensation if it deems it to be appropriate."
Like Ofgem could or would. Got no balls to fine them for fear of litigation.
Apply it to all the 'consumer' regulators
This should apply to all regulators dealing with companies that screw consumers - Ofcom especially, given the particular 'fuck you' attitude of telecoms businesses. Direct, punitive payments to verifiable victims of slamming or mis-selling would change company habits very quickly, as would a levy for large scale infringements that reflects the profits made from the action, (a generous back-of-the-envelope guess will do if companies won't come clean) plus a seriously punitive fine. The current 'up to 10pc of turnover' is about as blunt and dumb as it comes, and probably frequently falls short of negating profits from wrongdoing on the rare occasions it is even levied.
Talktalk in particular left very large numbers of people to pick up the 70 odd quid cost of returning their lines to their previous providers after their broadband was moved to Talktalk when all they had subscribed to was phone service. A few were randomly compensated for the cost (but not inconvenience) of returning the line; most weren't, and failed to address the issue at all for well over a year. Many didn't want to go through the hassle of moving the line back, so malpractice was further rewarded with new if unwilling customers.
It simply isn't reasonable that companies get to say sorry and blame a few bad apples, get a slap on the wrist and keep the profits before moving on to the next granny-fleecing wheeze, while individual consumers are told to 'write it off to experience' again, and again, and again. Funny how we all get to share the risks of Britain's unfettered capitalist cornucopia, but rarely the rewards.
It's easy enough to call it 'red tape' when it's not your ConDem-depleted pocket that's being rifled with very deliberate and premeditated intent.