Micro businesses affected by failures in a billing system introduced by British Gas Business in March 2014 will receive direct payments from the £9.5m that the supplier was required to pay in redress after an Ofgem investigation found it failed to treat its business customers fairly.

BGB is also making payments to the Money Advice Trust, the charity which provides the Business Debtline service to help energy consumers in need.

In addition to tens of thousands of business customers receiving delayed and inaccurate bills, ‘Investigation into British Gas Trading Limited and its compliance with its obligations under the gas and electricity supply licences (Standard Licence Conditions 7A, 14, 14A and 21B)’ reveals that 6,000 new customers also experienced delays in registering when the new system was introduced.

The number of complaints increased significantly as a consequence but many were handled poorly or not on time.

The company did, however, come forward voluntarily to report the problems and has taken action to put right its customer service processes. It has hired up to 350 specialist agents to help handle increased call volumes and a backlog of open complaints.