Show Hide image

British Gas landed with £2.5m fine

Energy company accused of inadequately handling customer complaints.

Ofgem, the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets, has fined British Gas £2.5m for inadequate customer care. According to the industry regulator, the energy company's failure to carry through with customer complaints, insufficient procedures for small business complaints and inadequate provision of information from the energy ombudsman are not acceptable.

This is the second fine British Gas has received from Ofgem this month. At the start of July, the company incurred a £1m fine over its misreporting of its renewables figures.

British Gas has responded to the most recent fine, saying it is "totally disproportionate" to the issue. Ofgem, however, are adamant that the energy company must resolve some fundamental problems:

Today's finding highlights basic failures in British Gas' customer service, particularly in dealing with some of its small business customers.

Later this week, Centrica - the owner of British Gas - is due to announce its interim results for the first half of 2011. It is believed that its operating profits are significantly down compared with the same period in 2010.

Tess Riley is a freelance journalist and social justice campaigner. She also works, part time, for Streetbank, and can be found on Twitter at @tess_riley

Show Hide image

We're hiring! Join the New Statesman as an editorial assistant

The NS is looking for a new recruit.

The New Statesman is hiring an editorial assistant, who will work across the website and magazine to help the office run smoothly. The ideal candidate will have excellent language skills, a passion for journalism, and the ability to work quickly and confidently under pressure.

The job is a broad one – you will need to understand the requirements of both halves of the magazine (politics and culture) as well as having an interest in the technical requirements of magazine and website production. Experience with podcasts and social media would be helpful.

The right person will have omnivorous reading habits and the ability to assimilate new topics at speed. You will be expected to help out with administration tasks around the office, so you must be willing to take direction and get involved with unglamorous tasks. There will be opportunities to write, but this will not form the main part of the job. (Our current editorial assistant is now moving on to a writing post.)

This is a full-time paid job, which would suit a recent graduate or someone who is looking for an entry into journalism. On the job training and help with career development will be offered.

Please apply with an email to Stephen Bush (Stephen. Bush @ with the subject line ‘Editorial Assistant application’.  

In your covering letter, please include a 300-word analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the New Statesman. Please also include 500 words on what you consider to be the most interesting trend in British politics, and your CV as a Word document. 

The deadline for applications is noon on Monday 12th October.