The energy sector is ever changing, with fracking developments, fines from Ofgem and new suppliers emerging onto the market all the time making it one of the most tumultuous industries in the UK. Something that doesn’t change however, seems to be the energy companies offering the worst levels of customer service.
Back in May, Love Energy Savings reported on the suppliers which were topping the league table when it came to complaints and poor levels of customer service. These were npower and Scottish Power Energy Supplier and the former even bore the brunt of a hefty fine from Ofgem for failing to remedy the situation and improve their service to the customers who are paying rather handsomely for their gas and electricity.
With this in mind, it seems somewhat strange that we are now in September and the same old culprits are still leading the way in terms of customer complaints. Indeed, npower is not having the best of years and have even beaten the infamous airline Ryanair to the titles of worst company in the UK for customer service. Michael O’Leary has always been adamant that his firm does not need to have good customer service due to the thrifty nature of his service, but this is certainly not the case for npower, who make significant profits on their domestic and business gas and electricity.
Top 100 Brands In UK...
Consumer group Which? recently ran a survey that took the UK’s top 100 brands and ranked them for their customer service, npower slipped from 99th to the foot of the table, which tallies with our findings back in May. Scottish Power’s customer service record has also continued to deteriorate falling from 62nd in the standings to just above npower in 99th, inevitably it has not been a good times for energy suppliers of late.
Both Scottish Power and npower have attributed their problems to technical difficulties such as computer systems, which have meant that bills have been delayed or simply never arrived. Indeed, Ofgem had to step in and warn npower that if their backlog of 400,000 customer queries was not cleared, then they would be banned for partaking in any sort of telesales; something which would severely affect any energy company.
The distrust in the Big Six Energy Suppliers as a whole has really been emphasised by the flurry of customers deciding to switch suppliers to some of the newer firms on the market. This has been further underlined by the fact that the highest any energy company finished in the customer service standings was 81st (EDF Energy). E.ON and British Gas could not be separated at joint 86th and SSE was joint 94th.
Survey Undertaken in June and July...
The customer service survey was conducted during the summer of this year and started before the Ofgem ultimatum to npower, so things may well have improved since then. Time will only tell whether customer complaints will fall to the energy suppliers at the probe into the Big Six continues.
Despite these developments, the Big Six could still represent the best value for money for your home or business. With such damning statistics and the inquiry from the CMA continuing in earnest, these energy suppliers will surely be doing all they can to restore some faith from their customers, before yet more leave for the independent suppliers.