Consumers facing a ‘lottery’ with UK energy suppliers

September 29, 2015

Lucy_2 (Custom)




By Lucy Palmer-Richeson.

Citizens Advice has warned that UK consumers are facing a “customer service lottery” among energy companies, saying there is a drastic difference between the best and the worst that energy suppliers have to offer when it comes to the handling of customers.

The top charity looked at customer service complaints about the 18 biggest UK energy suppliers between April and June of this year. It found that the worst supplier is ScottishPower, after receiving 944 complaints per 100,000 customers.

The second most complained-about provider was Extra Energy, with 769 complaints per 100,000 customers, followed by Co-Operative Energy with 645 complaints and npower with 577.

The best-performing supplier was SSE, with only 47 complaints per 100,000 customers. Six other companies had fewer than 100 complaints per 100,000 customers: Green Star Energy, British Gas, Ecotricity, EDF Energy, Good Energy and E.On.

The report, which is compiled quarterly, was the first time the charity has considered complaints data from the 18 largest energy suppliers operating in the UK market.

According to Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice: “Energy consumers face a customer service lottery. We have long called for a more competitive energy market and transparency on complaints across the board can help to support that.

“Consumers need the whole picture on energy suppliers, so they can choose who to buy their energy from on the basis of what’s most important to them whether that’s price or service.

“Complaints are a significant part of this, and people will rightly question why some energy firms have nearly 20 times as many complaints as others.”

Citizens Advice is asking that the poorer-performing companies do thier best to improve on customer service, and is urging the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to continually investigate the energy market to ensure all energy customers are treated fairly.