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Huge increase in Big Six customer complaints

ofgem straplineNearly all of the big six energy companies have suffered from a 50% rise in complaints this year.

With the exception of EDF who managed to lower their number of complaints, the rest of the big suppliers received average complaints of 271.3 per 100,000 customers between January and March this year.

Citizens Advice’s chief executive Gillian Guy said:

“Energy firms have no excuse for continued poor service. The majority of complaints from customers are about their bills. With billing a basic part of the service energy firms provide, it should be the simplest thing to get right.

While Scottish Power and Npower have taken steps to tackle their ongoing billing problems, which have caused a huge number of complaints, some customers are still finding it difficult to get their problem resolved. The CMA 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.”

We agree completely. Customer service is key and we’ve seen complaints ourselves with regard to billing issues, in particular from Scottish Power. Customers were not receiving bills at all or new accounts had not gone live due to the implementation of a new billing system last summer.

A Scottish Power spokesperson said:

“The end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 was our most challenging period following the introduction of a new £200 million customer IT system. In the long-term this major investment will ensure that our customers can fully benefit from the upcoming rollout of smart meters. During this period, we were set tough improvement targets by Ofgem, and we recruited over 700 frontline customer service advisors.

In recent months we have significantly reduced the number of complaints received, which will be reflected in future surveys. We are fully committed to continuing with our improvements and providing the best levels of customer service possible.”

We have utmost faith that Scottish Power will rectify these issues though and would still recommend them as a reliable supplier.