Scottish & Southern

  morddwyd 07:40 04 Apr 2013

SSE fined for misselling

Like to think I did my bit towards this.

A couple of years ago I was in bed one afternoon when the door bell went.

Stuck my head out of the landing window and asked what it was about. Guy told me there was a problem with my power supply.

Got my dressing gown on and struggled downstairs slowly (we are both disabled and have a notice on the door saying so, we also have a ramp, and a wheelchair stored in the porch).

Chap said he was from Scottish Hydro (part of SSE) and their equipment had identified a problem with our power supplies.

I expressed surprise, and said that Scottish Hydro did not supply our power.

He said he knew that, and we were paying too much and they could supply it cheaper.

It was only then I caught on!

I was furious and declined his offer somewhat forcefully!

Complained to the company and received a very self justifying reply, so complained to Ofgem.

£10.5m? Add another zero.

  carver 10:25 04 Apr 2013

It's the same feeling every time I see either this company or some one else that's fined, at some point I will pay that.

Why don't they order the company to reduce costs for say 12 months then they get fined but we don't pay, is that so hard to do and we the customer win.

  Quickbeam 10:37 04 Apr 2013

I thought this was a thread about British rail regions...

  lotvic 10:46 04 Apr 2013

I stopped counting the number of 'cold callers' who said they could save me money on fuel bills and then couldn't answer my simple questions "How much per kWh am I paying now (to present supplier)? and how much per kWh do you charge?"

  spuds 21:23 04 Apr 2013

They were all at it, and some have already been fined.

The water company we have always used, was fined a few years ago. Part of the deal was that the customers would get a refund. We got our refund off the following years bill, all £2.00 of it. I cannot really moan though, because I still think that water company is one of the cheapest around.

Now the dual fuel supplier who supplies us, as had many a complaint letter from me, but it doesn't make the slightest difference. We keep paying, they keep taking, but we are assured that they have the customer's interest at heart.

  spuds 19:02 05 Apr 2013


My private pension didn't see an increase for three years, but this years there as been a slight increase in payment.

Looks like I might have lost three years running :O)

All I need to do now, is see if the tax collector isn't watching :O(

  Forum Editor 10:12 06 Apr 2013

passing through

"The should hit them where it hurts, stop the shareholders dividend for the year."

Thus penalising the people who have invested their money in the company - many of whom are its customers. It would lead to a lack of confidence, which in turn leads to share dumping, and simply makes matters worse.

It would also be illegal under current legislation.

  spuds 11:08 06 Apr 2013


With respect, but how is it illegal to withhold paying dividends to shareholders.

Taking in mind perhaps, that most large shareholders are large commercial enterprises themselves, who main aim in life is making profit, and the more the merrier.

If we are talking about the small shareholder, possibly investing for a pension, then their say in most large companies have very little sway. There as even been formations of associations or protest groups of the smaller shareholders, and on the whole these people might make a scene or media report, and very little else.

Off subject, but when I didn't receive a private pension increase over the past three years, the runners of the fund still retained their rights to increasing their administration costs. When I consulted them about this, the excuse appeared was one "that some bad investments had been made". As I said, off subject, but perhaps interesting news?.

  Forum Editor 12:10 06 Apr 2013


The directors of a company make decisions about whether or not to pay dividends to shareholders. The government does not have powers to interfere in the conduct of a PLC, other than by legislation.

As for "most large shareholders are large commercial enterprises themselves, who main aim in life is making profit"

Well of course they're interested in making profits - they want to attract and keep their own shareholders. I would have though you would understand that.

Under the terms of the Companies Act 2006 all company directors have an over-arching duty to act in the way they consider, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company.

  spuds 12:38 06 Apr 2013


Thank you for the clarification.

But one little thing slightly concerns me. You have mentioned " they want to attract and keep their own shareholders. I would have though you would understand that".

In my lifetime I have held many shares in large companies (BT, BG, BA and many more beside) and also held shares in most of the once well known building societies, even the Automobile Association, when members were classed as shareholders. When I gave up those shares, never once did I receive a letter from any of them, asking why I had given up those shares. And never once did I(in my opinion) consider I counted for anything, because the large institutional investors outweighed and overpowered my minor and perhaps irrelevant shareholding stake.

  oresome 16:05 06 Apr 2013

If SSE has transgressed, I've no problem with them being fined.

But remember that the shareholder is the one that finances SSE, pays for the infrastructure improvements and takes on board the risk. In return they receive a dividend.

The taxpayer through the government doesn't want to shoulder this cost directly, hence nationalised industries were sold off. If you don't want to accept the cost and associated risk yourself, there has to be an incentive for someone else to do so.

SSE has a yield of 5.7% which is better than a bank account, but allow for inflation and any tax liability and the real return is probably less than half that figure. Of course there's no guarantee you'll ever see your capital again or that the yield will be maintained or that the company won't ask you for more money when the latest infrastructure project overruns.

Anybody fancy a punt on SSE?

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