The Customer Protection Code of Practice (“CPCoP”) sets out the minimum standards that all Retailers must comply with in their dealings with Non-Household Customers. It also sets out the minimum standards of behaviour that we expect from Retailers, and compliance is a requirement of Retailers’ licences which is ultimately enforceable by Ofwat.
This document sets out, for consultation, Ofwat’s proposal to make a change to the CPCoP. The proposed amendments to the CPCoP are intended to deliver greater protections for those Non-Household Customers who have accrued credit against their accounts, for example through pre-payment for services and deposits, including where the Retailer has exited the market or the customers’ account has been closed.
The policy aim of this Change Proposal is to provide additional protections to non-household customers in relation to credit – including in the event of a Retailer failure or in the event of a customer account closure.
Where to send submissions
We welcome your views on the questions detailed in section 7 of this document by 5pm on 9 August 2021.
Please submit email responses to [email protected], with the subject ‘CPCoP consultation – CP0010’. Due to the pandemic, we are currently unable to accept responses by post.
About the decision
On 6 July 2021, Ofwat consulted on its proposal (CP0010) to make a change to the Customer Protection Code of Practice (CPCoP). The proposed amendments to the CPCoP were intended to deliver greater protections for those business customers who have accrued credit against their accounts, for example through advance payment for services and deposits, including where the Retailer has exited the market or the customers’ account has been closed.
After considering the feedback received to the consultation, we are agreeing these change proposals. The changes to the CPCoP will be implemented on 20 April 2022 and are intended to:
- Ensure that customers have an appropriate level of awareness of the potential benefits and risks of paying in advance
- Increase customer awareness of the amount of credit they have built up and that alternative payment terms are available in the market; and
- Require Retailers, where they can do so, to refund credit balances to customers at the end of their contract
Clarification on the application of section 7.1.10 of the Customer Protection Code of Practice
Since publishing our decision we have been contacted by a Retailer who raised two queries relating to our decision, both of which were specifically about the application of 7.1.10 of the CPCoP. We have not made any changes to our published decision on CP0010 – instead, this document clarifies the position in relation to both of these queries and is supplementary to our decision on CP0010.