LONDON, November 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
The cross-party group of MPs that formed to investigate a £75m mis-selling scandal involving a ScottishPower cashback scheme, have called on key witnesses and stakeholders to join them for an evidence session on 2nd December (2pm-4pm).
Andrew Percy MP, Chair of the APPG on ScottishPower's Cashback Scandal, said: "This scandal was brought to the attention of Parliament some time ago, and has been raised with the Prime Minister twice, as well as the Business Secretary. However, this cashback issue seems to have slipped through every regulatory crack and ScottishPower have yet to be called to account.
"625,000 people across the UK, including thousands in my own constituency, are still owed over £75m combined. Our meeting on 2nd December is an important opportunity to hear from those at the heart of the scandal, so that Parliament may finally get to the bottom of the matter."
The meeting will be held in the Houses of Parliament (in Committee Room 8) and will comprise of MPs, the two liquidator firms that initially uncovered the mis-selling (The MacDonald Partnership and KSA), Alan Campbell (the whistleblower who originally brought the issue to the attention of Parliament), representatives of ScottishPower, relevant regulators and other involved parties.
Alan Campbell was a former director at PowerPlan Company Ltd which was set up to issue warranties on white/brown goods (such as TVs, fridges, cookers, etc.) in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The scheme went under in 2004, following its sale to another retailer and ScottishPower's refusal to payout on the cashback offer on the warranties. 625,000 customers across the UK lost out on a combined £75m.
Alan Campbell, who founded a consumer campaign highlighting the mis-selling last year (http://www.ScottishPowerBrokenPromises.co.uk), said: "I am very pleased to see MPs taking their investigation into this matter forward, and I am eager to put my evidence on this scandal into the public domain. ScottishPower have some difficult questions to answer and I for one am interested in hearing their account - as to date they have refused to answer a vital set of questions.
"Hundreds of thousands of people were made a promise that wasn't kept. Money that could make a real difference this Christmas."
Steve Rotheram MP, Vice-Chair of the APPG, added: "The people of Merseyside are still owed £3.4m on ScottishPower's cashback scheme. It is a disgrace that one of this country's largest utilities can make a promise to its customers, many of whom were the most vulnerable in society, and then simply back out of it when it becomes inconvenient.
"I have raised the issues affecting my constituents with the liquidators and I now look forward to hearing from ScottishPower and the liquidators in person."
Witnesses invited to the session include ScottishPower's CEO Neil Clitheroe, Marion Venman ScottishPower's head of legal (who worked on the scheme at the time) and Vodaphone board director David Nish (ScottishPower's former finance director).
Callum McCaig MP, Vice-Chair of the APPG, highlighted: "Over 290,000 people in Scotland bought into ScottishPower's cashback promise, and years later they still haven't seen a penny. It cannot be right that when customers buy a product in good faith that does not deliver, they have no path of recourse and no-one is held to account. This evidence session will be the first time key witnesses have been brought before Parliament to discuss the worrying findings of the liquidators reports."
Notes to editors
- In the late 1990s and early 2000s ScottishPower used to have retail stores that sold TVs, fridges, washing machines, etc. On those they used to sell cashback warranties, meaning that if you didn't claim on your warranty within 5 years they'd give you the cash deposit back. These warranties were called PowerPlan, and a sub-company PowerPlan Company Ltd (PPCL) was set up to issue the warranties.
- In 2001 ScottishPower sold their stores to another retailer, Powerhouse, on the proviso that the already existing claims would be covered by ScottishPower.
- In 2004/5 thousands of people started calling in their cashback. When Powerhouse tried to call on their indemnity with ScottishPower, ScottishPower reneged on the agreement. Powerhouse, partly as a consequence of this, went bust. 625,000 customers never got their money back, meaning over £75mil is still owed.
- Alan was one of the people who helped ScottishPower set up the warranty company (PowerPlan Company Ltd) when working for Sedgwicks Management Service (SMS). He founded the http://www.ScottishPowerBrokenPromises.co.uk campaign in March 2015 to highlight how the scandal came to pass.
- The APPG is now calling on those involved to give evidence in Parliament on Wednesday 2nd December in Committee Room 8 (14.00-16.00).
For more information on the ScottishPower Broken Promises campaign, or to speak with customers who lost out, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For press enquiries or to arrange an interview with Alan Campbell, please call James Hargrave on +44(0)7900-904-707
SOURCE ScottishPower Broken Promises