Isle of Man Energy still hasn’t supplied written assurance pledging it will change its behaviour towards its customers following billing problems.
The Office of Fair Trading stepped in during January after the gas company had received a number of complaints about its billing system.
The system had been upgraded in October and was described as experiencing ‘teething problems’.
The problem has now been fixed but over 350 complaints have been received by the OFT since the problem began.
OFT chair John Wannenburgh said: ‘In my experience and that of the OFT’s longest serving officer, the problems created are unprecedented.
‘In my opinion, it is unacceptable.’
He added that a solution is being sought ‘at the expense of important work’ within the OFT despite it already having ‘limited resources’.
Officers have carried out home visits as part of this to deal with the problem.
Mr Wannenburgh said that the OFT’s intervention has led to the direct resolution of problems, but it is still receiving them.
He said: ‘Complaints received have, not unexpectedly, risen to 350.’
It’s mainly dealing with a rolling number of new complaints on historical issues, dealt with sometimes ‘within 24 hours’.
It’s possible that further action could be taken if the OFT isn’t satisfied.
Mr Wannenburgh said: ‘Where it appears to the OFT the person is behaving in a manner that is detrimental to consumers, it will do its best to obtain a satisfactory written assurance they will not behave in that manner.’
If not, the OFT will refer the issue to the attorney general’s office.
The chair confirmed that no written assurance has been obtained and the OFT is ‘considering further action’.
‘The OFT can only fire the arrows it has in its armoury,’ Mr Wannenburgh added.
Isle of Man Energy chief executive Jo Cox apologised for errors that had appeared on gas bills, with one customer having just under £65,000 wrongly withdrawn by direct debit. The OFT previously warned the company that enforcement action would follow if billing issues weren’t resolved in a timely fashion.