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SNP Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Patricia Gibson MP contacted Chris Gauld, Chief Executive of Spark Energy, following concerns that his company was pursuing customers for bills which were not even outstanding, days before they fell due, which is heavy-handed and unnecessary.

Such actions irritate customers and can put them under pressure in a needless and overbearing manner. All energy suppliers would much prefer customers to pay by direct debit but for many people that is simply not an option and paying each bill as and when it is due suits their circumstances better, either online or at the bank or post office.

Mr Gauld responded very positively and said:

“We have very recently carried out a review of all our communications, and concluded that, as you say, the frequency of our communications to those of our customers who do not pay by direct debit has been too high over recent months.

“As a result of the review, from June the number of communications we send out will be significantly reduced - so you should soon notice a big improvement. From this time, all our non-direct debit customers should receive only one reminder before their payment date.”

Patricia commented:

“I am delighted that Spark Energy’s Chief Executive, Chris Gauld, has agreed that daily texts and emails to customers reminding them to pay their bill at least ten days before they are due, is unhelpful, particularly for those struggling with their finances.

“Often people are unable to pay bills by direct debit and plan their budgets carefully throughout the month. Daily reminders to pay bills well in advance of them becoming due can cause anxiety and Spark’s decision to reduce these to one single reminder will make a real difference to many. I am very pleased that Spark Energy now agrees and I hope that any other companies who chase undue bills will also cease doing so.”

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