Energy Firms Urged to Improve Customer Service
The latest customer service league table published by Citizens Advice has revealed the energy firms with the poorest customer service. Ten of the energy companies whose service was ranked failed to achieve even the average score of 2.5 stars.
In total, thirty-nine firms were ranked according to the quality of their customer service, meaning almost a quarter fell short. Those ranked cover about 99% of the market, with the rankings compiled anew every three months.
Energy Supplier Customer Service Qualities
Citizens Advice judge the energy suppliers customer service on a variety of factors to compile the league table. Factors include the number of complaints each supplier receives and call waiting times. Another important factor is how easy each firm makes it to switch supplier.
Other pertinent customer service quality indicators cited by Citizens Advice included customers having difficulty in contacting the supplier entirely. Also mentioned were the likes of direct debits being suddenly increased and customers being switched to prepayment meters without warning. They also factored in major errors such as the wrong bills being issued.
A ‘Significant Proportion’ of Suppliers Letting Customers Down
The Chief Executive of the advisory body, Gillian Guy, said of the customer service rankings, “[They] continue to show a number of firms struggling to deliver acceptable standards of customer service. The energy supply market is not the free-for-all it once was. But there is still a big gap between those firms who provide excellent customer service and a significant proportion who are letting consumers down.”
There were customer service successes too, including Big Six supplier SSE who topped the league table in 1st place. Second and third place went to Affect Energy and Breeze Energy respectively. The lowest ranked companies were Utilita and Eversmart Energy who each scored 1.8 stars. Propping up the table was Nabuh Energy with a paltry 1.65 stars.
Low-Scoring Supplier Responds to Customer Service Ranking
A spokesperson for Utilita offered a response to the company’s low score for customer service. They said, “These figures were taken at a particularly challenging time of the year. Since then our complaints have dropped significantly and waiting times are down nearly 40%.”
The spokesperson also offered an explanation for the poor performance, adding, “Unlike most other suppliers, we have a higher proportion of vulnerable customers who can require additional support. This is why we’ve invested heavily in initiatives such as our Power Up app function, which has allowed some of our more financially-challenged customers to top up more than £2.5 million on their meters themselves since September, without paying any interest.”
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