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Hausfeld Instructed by National UK Consumer Group

Related Lawyers: Ingrid Gubbay
Related Practice Areas: Consumer Claims

Hausfeld was instructed by the national consumer watchdog Consumer Focus during the recent Npower negotiations. In mid 2009 Consumer Focus came to an impasse in it’s discussions, with both the regulator Ofgem, and with fourth largest UK electricity supplier Npower, following their investigation into complaints that Npower had overcharged its customers when it changed its billing system in 2007. This led to many thousands of their customers paying more for fuel than they used.

Ofgem the energy regulator started a probe after customers complained. It concluded there had been an overcharge but fell well short of the mark when it agreed with Npower that a sum of £1.2m. should be paid to 200.000 customers last year.

Consumer Focus realised that many more customers were affected and therefore sought some way to bring Npower back to the table when Npower refused to deal with them. The watchdog instructed us to look at possible ways they may use their general powers to pursue damages for affected customers.

Working together with counsel Rhodri Thompson QC we advised Consumer Focus that there appeared to be a failure by Npower to, among other issues, comply with statutory obligations and consumer regulations relating to notice to customers where changes to the tariff system resulted in a price increase to consumers. The threat of a possible representative action had the immediate effect of spurring negotiations, which resulted in Consumer Focus successfully obtaining £63m+Vat and interest settlement to be paid out to 1.8 million customers.

This is the first successful case of its kind in the UK and Hausfeld & Co are proud to have been instrumental in this massive victory for millions of consumers.

For more information please contact Ingrid Gubbay.