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After reports debt business broke into homes to insert prepaid metres, Ofgem opens urgent probe into British Gas.

British Gas’ debt collection organisation entered vulnerable residents’ homes to instal devices, according to the report.

Following reports that British Gas deployed debt collectors who broke into customers’ houses to install prepayment meters. The energy regulator Ofgem is opening an immediate investigation into the firm.

It follows an investigation by The Times that stated Arvato Financial Solutions, a business used by British Gas to pursue debts, pushed their way into homes to install the devices, despite signals that children and disabled people resided there.

“The Times has made grave claims. “We are initiating an urgent inquiry into British Gas and will not hesitate to take aggressive enforcement action,” said Ofgem.

After reports debt business broke into homes to insert prepaid metres, ofgem opens urgent probe into british gas.
After reports debt business broke into homes to insert prepaid metres, ofgem opens urgent probe into british gas.

“It is unacceptable for a supplier to impose forced installations on vulnerable customers struggling to pay their bills before exhausting all other options and without conducting exhaustive investigations to ensure it is safe and feasible to do so.

After reports debt business broke into homes to insert prepaid metres

The energy crisis is no justification for inappropriate behavior toward any client, especially those in vulnerable situations.

The owner of British Gas, Centrica, stated in a statement that “all warrant activity” had been discontinued. And that the protection of vulnerable customers is a “top priority.”

The Times stated that British Gas customers forcibly fitted with prepayment meters included a woman in her 50s with “serious mental health problems” and a mother whose “disabled daughter has a hoist and motorized wheelchair.

In its undercover investigation, the newspaper also claimed that Arvato Financial Solutions personnel were incentivized to install prepayment meters with bonuses.

Business Secretary Grant Shapps described the report as “horrifying” and has requested that energy minister Graham Stuart speak with the corporation in the “coming days.

Ed Miliband, the shadow secretary for environment and net zero, stated, “It is correct that you be shocked. Now take action and PROHIBIT the installation of forced prepayment meters this winter. What are you looking forward to?

The report coincides with increased living expenses.

Centrica promised a “thorough investigation” and a warranty suspension “at least until the winter.”

Chris O’Shea, chief executive officer of Centrica, stated, “Protecting vulnerable consumers is a top concern. And we have clear procedures and regulations in place to ensure we manage client debt wisely and securely.” The claims against our third-party contractor Arvato [Financial Solutions] are intolerable, and we have immediately terminated their warrant action.”

Arvato Financial Solutions informed the Times that it “acts compliantly in compliance with regulatory standards at all times” and that the findings do not reflect the company’s beliefs or official guidance regarding how to deal with consumers.

A spokeswoman told the newspaper, “We strongly regret any instances of verbal or other types of wrongdoing by individual workers.”

After “all reasonable attempts have been taken to resolve the payment”. Ofgem recommends getting a court order to instal a prepayment metre.

It stated that suppliers cannot compel the installation of a prepayment meter on “particularly vulnerable” customers who do not want one, nor can they use warrants on “those who would find the experience extremely upsetting.”

Ofgem said last week that it will assess the checks and balances that energy companies have in place when placing customers on prepayment meters, with the warning that it will take additional legal action if it discovers that they are not exercising appropriate care.

Citizens Advice estimates that 3.2 million Britons ran out of prepayment metre credit last year.

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