Ofcom investigates whether Shell Energy failed to tell customers about better deals
Ofcom has opened an investigation into whether Shell Energy has complied with our rules to issue end-of-contract and annual best tariff notifications to its broadband and landline customers.
On 15 February 2020, we introduced rules that require broadband, mobile, home phone and pay-TV companies to warn their customers when their minimum contract period is coming to an end, and what they could save by signing up to a new deal. They must also remind any customers who remain out of contract about their best deals every year.
When we brought in these rules we estimated that up to 20 million people have gone beyond their initial contract period, and many of these could be paying more than they needed to.
Since the introduction of the rules we’ve seen evidence that these prompts from providers are working. In our research, two thirds of customers who were sent an end-of-contract notice recalled receiving one. Of those, 90% found it helpful and a fifth reported that they were prompted into action they would not have otherwise taken.
Information provided to Ofcom by Shell Energy indicates that it did not send these notifications to some customers for a period of time starting in February 2021, while other customer letters may not have contained all of the required information.
We aim to complete our evidence gathering phase by the end of Summer 2022. We will publish a further update on any next steps once that is complete.