Ombudsman Services | 07 October 2020
As part of its Microbusiness Strategic Review, Ofgem is currently in the process of consulting with stakeholders to gain their views on a proposed licence condition that would require energy suppliers to work only with those energy brokers that are already signed up to an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Scheme.
The proposed licence condition means that in future, microbusinesses will have the opportunity for redress on complaints directly raised against energy brokers when something has gone wrong.
To help Ofgem build a practical and workable redress scheme, Ombudsman Services has agreed to run a small pilot trial that will test key areas of the microbusiness customer journey and inform any potential future scheme.
The pilot, which will broadly operate in line with the current energy ombudsman process, will be voluntary for energy brokers and will be small scale, involving up to a maximum of 20 cases.
The pilot will run for approximately six months and we are currently in the process of identifying a small number of energy brokers who might with to engage with us and take part in the pilot.
To run an effective pilot, we also need the support of energy suppliers so that we can test the whole microbusiness customer journey which, as well as involving the broker concerned, may also require some remedial action from a supplier. Remedial action might, for example, mean allowing the termination of an energy contract, given that broker sales activity is intrinsically linked with energy suppliers.
By engaging with the pilot, energy suppliers will not only have the opportunity to help shape any future redress decisions made by Ofgem, but you’ll also be actively involved in helping to raise the standards of complaint handling across the whole energy broker sector.
Your involvement in the pilot also provides a unique opportunity to help scope and build a future redress scheme that will help energy suppliers to easily identify those energy brokers that are signed up to redress in the future.
In short, your involvement now means you’ll be reassured in the future that the energy brokers you’re doing business with are meeting the standards set out in the proposed new licence condition.
We are currently in the process of contacting energy brokers and suppliers to invite them to take part in this important pilot.
If you want to get involved in the pilot, or if you would like to speak with a member of our team to find out more about what it involves, please get in touch today by emailing: OSAccountManagers@Ombudsman-Services.co.uk