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Your view: are you happy with your energy supplier?

Happy and sad switch

This week, we’re discussing whether or not you’re happy with your energy supplier. We’ve had the results of our annual satisfaction survey, but did the results surprise you? And who will get our Comment of the Week?

Although Npower came bottom of the table, Derek reported he’d experienced some good customer service from the company:

‘I have been with Npower for more than four years as all the comparisons regularly show me that it offers competitive tariffs for my usage. When I have phoned them I have always got a rapid response and my requests have been implemented faultlessly. My only complaint is the number of tariffs and the rapid changes in them, but that goes for most other providers as well.’

However, Wendy doesn’t share quite the same experience:

‘I certainly don’t share your experience of Npower. I had solar panels fitted in July and they seem to have messed up at every stage of the FIT process, as I’ve had to chase them at least a dozen times overall.’

Direct debit problems

Direct debit issues came up in reference to a whole range of suppliers. JBS had problems with OVO Energy:

‘I switched to OVO as I wanted to give a smaller company a chance, but they keep trying to raise my Direct Debit to way above the level needed. The first time they did it, I refused, complained and they stopped. I renewed and not long after, they tried to raise it to a level that, by their own admission, would leave me hundreds in credit for my power!’

Stephen O’Malley had a similar experience with EDF Energy:

‘I myself am with EDF and sadly they are exactly the same. They tell us they don’t want us to be paying sums that leave us with large amounts of credit in our accounts, and then a few months later start to insist that you raise them again.’

Switching energy providers

And we’ve some switchers in the crowd. Aliceada told us:

‘I took part in the Big Switch and swapped to Co-op Energy, the switch was done very quickly and I had no problems with either SSE (my previous supplier) or Co-op. The savings quoted seem to be on course but I won’t know for sure until the end of the year. Very happy so far.’

And Joyce Lomax has been inspired to switch other utilities:

‘I switched to M&S Energy for electricity and gas a year ago and was happy so also switched to them for phone also. Happy up to now.’

But one of the secrets to being able to switch with ease is simple energy tariffs. A point that Ant picked up in his comment:

‘A simple way to compare is what we all need and is what the government should have insisted on.’

Don’t worry Ant, we’re with you on that. We’re lobbying the government for a single unit price – so energy prices can be easily compared at a glance allowing people to find the cheapest deal.

Congratulations Ant – you’re this week’s Comment of the Week and will be featured on the Which? Convo homepage! What do you think of your energy supplier? Did they do better or worse than you expected in our satisfaction survey?

Comments
Member

Your energy comparison database showed iSupplyEnergy as the cheapest option and I have changed to them. However it does not appear on your latest report. Why is this?

Member
mark morville says:
11 August 2015

Are You Happy With OVO Energy

I moved over to ovo energy what a big mistake when they put my smart meter in last week there was about £30 on each meter they told me it will be transferred over in two days so I went away on Friday I thought well I wont need to top the meter up because the man who put the meter in said the transfer will be on by Friday on Saturday I got a email from ovo saying by early Monday my gas will go off so I rang ovo and they told me it will TAKE UP TO THREE WEEKS so today I rang ove energy and the young lady told me yes it will take up to three weeks the alarm bell started ringing not for me this firm as been pushed by martins money tips and which I will tell you why some people live on benefits no fault of there own but if your are on pay as you go like me and you say have £20 on the meter lets say to last you 9 days until you get paid
you will have major problems because you wont get your credit for up to three weeks if you have children well I worry I told ovo I was doing this site because I am not happy they do not mention on martin money tips and which it is not suitable for people on pay as you go well I don’t think so because they send you two cards one gas and one electric to use while they change the meters over to smart ones then when they have changed the you get a third card and then you chuck the other ones but no mention about the two to three weeks to transfer the credit over I do know why the money went to them sorry to go on please ask if it is for you if your on benifits

Member

I’m with the Co-op and have no complaints at all. Price and service are fine and when we moved to it a couple of years ago the process was seamless. The pleading calls from Scottish trying to regain a lost customer dried up after a while.

I am far more comfortable with the thought that it is run for the members’/customers’ benefit than to line the pockets of city fat cats. Even if it is a bit dearer than the cheapest offers out there I’m not going anywhere.

Member

Which seems to keep on about energy suppliers customer service, but I feel that this is not the real problem. I feel that they are all much the same – pretty much OK except for trying to keep customers in credit. The real problem to me is the constant increase in prices across all companies, which has partly been caused by our governments not having an effective energy policy, leading the design and building of a range of new power stations (wind; wave; solar coal; & nuclear) which should have been built in time.

Member

My experience with OVO has been good. Each year I renewed for a fixed price which seems to have remained competitive. I went abroad for 6 months which resulted in several hundred pounds credit accruing on my statements but OVO paid 3% interest on this, which is more than my savings accounts pay, so I am quite happy.

Member
Michael Cleeve says:
18 February 2017

I have used OVO for 2 years and have been happy with their tariffs and customer service. Unfortunately they are now proposing to increase their charge to me, for the next year, by over 30%! Their renewal notice to me says that “unfortunately this year’s bills will cost a little more”. I think this is rather misleading – nobody can claim that a 30% increase is “a little more”. I am now in the process of switching to another supplier which will incur an increase of only about 11% over my current OVO tariff.

Member
John says:
28 January 2013

I’m rather upset by your customer satisfaction findings. I joined the Big Switch campaign and, as a result, you advised me that First Utility offered me the best deal (better than the Co-op). I switched to First Utility but now see that they do badly in this survey. Does this mean I should switch again? I would welcome your advice.

Member

Personally, I’m with EDF Energy. At the time, I chose them because they had the cheapest fixed-price tariff. I have to admit, I knew that their reputation was less than stellar for customer service, but decided to switch to them for the good rates.

Generally, their service has been okay. However, in my previous property, I was also with EDF Energy and I had a few more problems. Mostly notably, after a summer where we (understandably) used almost no gas on account of the warm weather, we had our direct debit reduced from around £35 a month for gas to £9 a month. I rang them and told them this obviously wouldn’t work out in the long term, but they didn’t change it. Predictably, when we moved out of the property, we were then in debt to them and had to pay up more than £200 at a time when we really would rather not have!