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  • by Karma Loveday

Ofwat flags concern about retailers’ interactions with third party intermediaries

Ofwat has written to retailers to raise concerns that some practices relating to third party intermediaries (TPIs) may be “anti-competitive and detrimental to customers' experience of the market”.

The regulator reminded retailers of the obligations of the Customer Protection Code of Practice (CPCoP), which includes provisions regarding letters of authority and the provision of information by retailers to TPIs authorised to act on customers’ behalf. It said: “It has been brought to our attention that there may be inconsistencies in how retailers are meeting their obligations in this context, including in their approach to accepting and obtaining TPI letters of authority, and that this may be delaying or impeding the timely provision of information to TPIs who have been legitimately appointed by customers to act on their behalf.”

Ofwat added: “Whilst compliance with the provisions of the Code is a legal requirement, we also fully expect retailers to act in the best interests of customers, including by ensuring a seamless customer experience when engaging with TPIs.”

Ofwat will publish a Call for Inputs on improving the CPCoP next year, and as part of that will consider the need to strengthen the customer protections in this area.


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