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Tesco has dropped E.ON energy tariffs from its line of in-store household products, after the provider was fined for willingly mis-selling energy products to its customers.
The popular UK supermarket chain did not announce that it would be withdrawing the sale of E.ON energy tariffs from its stores. It was reported that the company had simply ‘quietly dropped’ the utility provider after it was found guilty of “extensive poor sales practices” during the year 2013, according to Ofgem reports.
E.ON was recently fined a total of £12 million for failing to train its sales staff to give properly founded advice to customers when selling energy tariffs.
Between June 2010 and December 2013, E.ON customers were repeatedly given false information when signing up for new tariffs and were led into making poor choices regarding the best energy plan for them.
The Ofgem report was released earlier in May this year and led the Big Six supplier to pay the record fine of £12m. The money will be shared between the 333,000 customers that currently make use of government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme. E.ON may even be told to pay a further £8 million as part of the compensation for the total number of consumers affected, which was 465,000.
An energy expert from uSwitch.com, Tom Lyon, said:
“Trust in the industry is already at an all-time low and this fine will only serve to further increase consumers’ cynicism towards energy suppliers.
“E.ON’s behaviour is disappointing, particularly given the time these poor practices went on for and the fact that they were happening as recently as December.”
Lyon went on however to commend E.ON for the positive way in which it had communicated with Ofgem to put things right. At the time of the report being published, E.ON’s CEO Tony Cocker issued an apology, saying that it was “completely unacceptable” that the company had been unclear with its customers about their tariff choice, causing them to make poor choices as a result. He also added that while there had been “no organised attempt to mislead”, E.ON had indeed failed to put in place “enough rules, checks and oversight”.
A recent overhaul of E.ON’s business model saw the company wave goodbye to door-to-door selling and cold calling practices as a way to sell more tariffs. Now the supplier will most likely be focusing on enhanced training of sales staff and the clearer communication of tariff specifications to customers.
According to a Tesco spokeswoman, the decision to drop E.ON’s tariffs from its in-store sales was born simply from listening to customers, who had told Tesco about their concerns, This Is Money said.