Ofgem has said it is in “active discussion” with Outfox the Market regarding customer service issues with parent company Foxglove and associated labels.
Responding to a comment on Twitter regarding the supplier the industry regulator said it works with a number of organisations, including the Energy Ombudsman and Citizens Advice, to resolve issues.
Ofgem said: “We’re aware of customer service issues at Foxglove and their associated labels, and are currently in active discussion with the supplier regarding their customer service issues.
“We routinely observe suppliers’ compliance with regulatory rules, and typically liaise directly with suppliers where there is evidence of potentially widespread or serious problems.
“We’re advising Foxglove customers to register a complaint as this ensures the issue is resolved sooner by those with appropriate powers (eg the Ombudsman Services).
“We also work closely with Citizens Advice to ensure your issue is heard and action is taken.”
The Energy Ombudsman has confirmed it received a peak of 43 complaints regarding the supplier last month.
The ombudsman added it saw an increase in complaints about Outfox over 2018, with common issues including payments, debt and billing.
A spokesperson for the Energy Ombudsman said: “We are in regular contact with Foxglove/Outfox the Market.
“We are keen to work with the company to help it make improvements to the way it handles complaints, so that fewer complaints reach us.
“This is in line with our focus on prevention rather than cure. Using our data and insights, we are keen to work closely and collaboratively with any supplier that wants to improve its complaint-handling process.”
Outfox has been under fire recently for making changes to its direct debit policy, with customers being charged significantly more in winter than in summer.
Under the rules a typical customer would have paid around 40 per cent more between October and March and around 40 per cent less between April and September.
This means prices would have been more than double between summer and winter.
However following a backlash the supplier said in a post written by chief executive Keith Bastian on Facebook that it was reversing its decision.
Bastian said: “The changes we have introduced to our direct debit policy, where customers pay a higher rate during the winter to match increased consumption, followed by lower payments in the warmer months is a sustainable solution to providing cheaper energy prices.
“I firmly believe that this will soon be standard practice for companies aiming to help customers save on their energy costs.
“However, I fully accept that many of our customers do not accept that this is the right thing for them.
“Having listened to our customers’ feedback, the company has decided to reintroduce a fixed direct debit policy.”
The policy will apply to all customers on both fixed and variable tariffs and will see a return to 12 equal monthly instalments.
Bastian personally apologised for the “negative influence” the direct debit changes had on the company’s standard of customer service.
Fellow small energy supplier Economy Energy is under scrutiny for its customer service performance.
Ofgem has banned the company from taking on new customers for up to three months until it resolves customer service issues.
The Energy Ombudsman confirmed almost 400 investigations were opened into Economy Energy in November 2018.
Outfox the Market has been contacted for comment.