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Staff hit in SSE telesales closure

Monday August 19th 2013

Energy giant SSE has pledged to redeploy 100 employees after closing its telesales offices in the face of a review of its customer relationships.

SSE, one of the "big six" energy suppliers in Britain, aims to redeploy 70 employees at its Thatcham, Berkshire office and around 30 back office staff members in St Mellons, Cardiff to other customer service jobs within the company "wherever possible".

The company has pledged to end its practice of cold-calling potential customers, and will only call existing customers and those who have agreed to be contacted. SSE has also announced that a small team will be established to deal with inbound calls from potential customers, but they will not be making unsolicited outbound calls.

Customers of SSE were urged to seek compensation from the company in April, after an Ofgem investigation resulted in a record £10.5 million fine for "prolonged and extensive" mis-selling. In a move that prompted the review of SSE's telesales operation, the energy watchdog claimed it found "failures at every stage of the sales process". This included SSE's telephone, in-store and doorstep selling activities.

Ofgem claimed the level of the fine reflected the seriousness and the duration of the mis-selling, as well as the implications. Now, SSE's group managing director, retail, Will Morris said the decision to end cold calling practices demonstrated that the company was "dedicated to delivering what customers want".

Copyright Press Association 2013

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