Energy firms fail to reduce complaints as consumers hit by billing problems

24th July 2015


The worst performing energy firms have failed to improve the number of complaints they receive from customers.


The latest quarterly complaints data from Citizens Advice shows no significant improvement in the number of customers complaining about energy firms and in fact, complaints about five of the big six energy firms had increased in the past year.


Between the six largest energy companies there was an average of 271 complaints per 100,000 customers in January to March of this year.


Scottish Power was the worst performer, with 1,154.6 complaints per 100,000 and SSE was the best performer with 55.1 complaints per 100,000.


The failure to reduce complaints comes despite a number of energy firms receive sanctions from regulator Ofcom for poor customer service.


Two-thirds of customers complained about billing issues, with Scottish Power becoming the worst performer due to the introduction of a new system that caused billing issues for a number of customers.


Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: ‘Energy firms have no excuse for continued poor service.


‘The majority of complaints from customers are about their bills, from large back bills to incorrect bills, or even no bill at all. With billing a basic part of the service energy firms provide, it should be the simplest thing to get right.’


She said that while Scottish Power and Npower had taken steps to tackle their billing problems ‘some customers are still finding it difficult to get their problem resolved’.


‘The Competition and Markets Authority has made encouraging interim recommendations to improve this market. It now needs to act to ensure all customers get the best deal and good customer service from suppliers,’ said Guy.



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