Supporting suppliers & consumers through the SoLR process [November 2021]

Ombudsman Services | Nov 09, 2021

It’s been a challenging time for Energy suppliers with a number of companies entering the SoLR process. Because of this, we wanted to let you know how we support companies and their customers through these situations.

Once Ofgem inform us that a company are ceasing to trade, we close down the complaint channels for the company so that no more complaints can be accepted. We then share the news with our colleagues and ensure that no more cases for the company are allocated to Investigation Officers.

If consumers call us for help, we echo Ofgem’s advice and suggest that they take a meter reading and don’t switch suppliers before a SoLR is appointed and the transfer of their account is complete.

For consumers who have registered disputes, we update them as soon as Ofgem appoints the Supplier of Last Resort and once we have a better idea of whether the new supplier will be able to help with their dispute.

In terms of accepting complaints about the Supplier of Last Resort:

If a consumer has complained directly to the Supplier of Last Resort and 8 weeks have passed or a deadlock letter has been issued we will consider disputes about:

  • the way in which the new supplier took over a consumer’s supply – for example, about delays, start meter readings, poor communication etc.
  • any problems with the service provided by the new supplier after the supply has been taken over.
  • a credit balance on the failed supplier’s account, which the new supplier is responsible for refunding. This includes disputes about whether the account was in credit, how much is owed to the customer and any delays in the processing of the refund.

We won’t consider disputes about:

  • any problems with the service offered by the failed supplier.
  • any issues with the way in which an administrator pursued a consumer for a debt owed to the failed supplier (including where the new supplier is collecting debt on behalf of the administrator).
  • issues with the refunding of a credit balance owed by the failed supplier, if the customer has switched away to another supplier before the failed supplier ceased trading.

We’re here to support both suppliers facing potential closure as well as suppliers taking on new customers through the Supplier of Last Resort process, so if you have any questions, areas of concern, or just want to discuss our support services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your partnership manager.