If you could force energy companies to behave differently, what would you expect of them? That’s what not-for-profit energy company Ebico’s asking. Managing Director Phil Levermore explains why you should speak up.
The energy industry has never been under such intense scrutiny as it is right now. Already, thanks to pressure from consumer rights groups and watchdogs, the majority of the major suppliers has abandoned the controversial practice of doorstep selling.
The government is pushing for major reforms to overhaul the market, looking at critical issues such as tariff complexity and pricing to poor advice when switching to ensure that it is working in the best interests of consumers.
But despite all these efforts at reform, at Ebico we believe that the industry still needs to do more to support its customers and rebuild its reputation. That’s why we’re launching a campaign to transform the sales experience for UK energy consumers.
What do you expect from your energy supplier?
For too many, this question would probably provoke a litany of negative answers. ‘They’ll probably try to sell me things I don’t want.’ ‘They’ll try to confuse me with complex tariffs.’ ‘It’ll take me forever to get through to a customer service representative.’ The list of complaints being levied at energy companies is lengthy – and all too familiar.
But, what if, instead of having to bemoan our treatment at the hands of energy companies, the power was put back into the hands of the customer?
What if customers got together and turned the tables on energy companies, telling them how we expect to be treated in a positive manner, rather than resigning ourselves to a negative customer experience?
Fuelled by experience, powered by consumers
We think it’s time that energy companies listened to what their customers want and reacted accordingly, updating their practices and services to meet their customers’ expectations. So we’ve launched our ‘Great Expectations’ campaign, and we’re asking what your expectations are when it comes to how energy suppliers should treat their customers.
Ever been on the receiving end of a persistent doorstep seller? Do you find deciphering tariffs impossible? Have you switched supplier on the promise of lower prices… only to receive bigger bills?
Based on your responses, we want to create an ambitious charter of expectations, ready to take to Number 10 to challenge existing energy industry practices. We will ask everyone – from consumer groups, to politicians and the media – to support us in calling on all energy companies to sign up to the charter for the good of consumers.
Over the next few weeks, we’re asking people to make three votes on the commitments they believe all energy suppliers should sign up to under the three headings of Openness, Fairness and Honesty.
So what do you think energy companies should be doing to make the customer’s experience a better one?
Which? Conversation provides guest spots to external contributors. This is from the energy supplier, Ebico. All your responses will feed into its campaigning work, not the work of Which?