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How good is your energy company’s customer service?

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We published the results of our annual energy satisfaction survey today – and the smaller companies have yet again topped the charts for customer service. Are you with one of the best or worst energy suppliers?

Good Energy and Ecotricity topped the charts, each with an 82% satisfaction score, when we asked more than 8,500 members of the public to rate their energy supplier. With the average customer score for energy companies to a new low of just 41%, from last year’s 49%, we were keen to hear how you’d respond to this news. The good news is, there’s overwhelming praise for those topping the charts. NotInventedHere told us:

There are lots of things people look out for in a good energy company, with Jeff tweeting:

And Sarah said:

Of course, it wasn’t good news for all the energy suppliers today – particularly for the big players known affectionately (or not) as the Big Six. The Twitter-sphere is a little quieter for those who appeared at the bottom of our tables – British Gas and Npower – but Richard Baker wasn’t surprised by Npower’s satisfaction rating of just 31%:

Our executive director Richard Lloyd said of our survey results:

‘Once again the biggest energy companies have been beaten by the smaller suppliers but there are no winners in a broken market that consistently fails consumers. Our findings highlight why it’s vital that Ofgem’s first Annual Review of competition clearly identifies why the market is failing and what needs to change. We want to see radical solutions to improve competition and keep prices in check, like the biggest energy companies being forced to separate wholesale generation from the retail arms of their business.’

Are you with one of the best or worst energy suppliers – how do your experiences compare?

Comments
Profile photo of Lee Beaumont
Member

This report has come at a perfect time for me.

My gas is with Scottish Power who are maybe the worst company I have ever been with. I was on the phone for 1 hour 5mins today to SP just to be cut off. But after a few tweets I finally got a phone call back, they have said sorry and given a £50 goodwill too. (I am in the middle of leaving and moving to Ebico).

My elec is with Ebcio/SSE and are very very very happy here. At the start it wasn’t so good. But now I have a direct contact “Specialist Liaison & Aftercare Customer Relations
Team Manager” and all I need to-do is drop her a e-mail and within a few hours have a reply and she is amazing. (I think my media work has helped me here as I was given her as my account manager the day after I was moaning about SSE on ITVNews)

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

I am with two low-scoring suppliers, although my experience so far has been quite satisfactory. But with the hype about energy costs, what is possible better customer satisfaction worth? I checked what I currently pay against your top scorers, and they come out around 18 to 22% more expensive. I’ll take my chances!

Member
Dave D says:
28 January 2014

I’m amazed to hear (malcolm r) that Ecotricity are apparently about 20% more expensive than two lower scoring suppliers. I’ve been with Ecotricity for many years now and I switched in order to get a good deal and to know that the profits made from my energy use were going into renewables rather than shareholders’ pockets. When I moved I had no idea what customer service would be like. I am vastly better off than I was with npower (elect) and British Gas (Gas). I won’t be changing again as Ecotricity are in a price freeze anyway, and I now know ho fantastic their customer service is, but if malcom’s calculations are right it just goes to show how great is the need to shop around for the best deals.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Dave, I was surprised at the difference and have rechecked the figures (using Switch with Which). Many suppliers come out significantly cheaper – it may depend which area you are in. It can be said that energy companies have no control over around 30% of your bill (transportation costs, regulatory costs), limited control over the actual energy cost (a world commodity) and full control over their own costs – infrastructure, admin etc). So if you are a little cautious and say they control 70% of your bill, it is even more surprising (to me) that there are such substantial differences. We need facts and figures put in front of us to allow the energy market to be properly examined – information that is generally lacking in emotive discussions on energy, particularly amongst the politicians and from Ofgem.

Profile photo of mark
Member

I moved to OVO with the hope their service would be good. Which? seem to rate them highly. At first things were fine but I have not been satisfied recently. Firstly they put up my direct debit twice in six months, doubling it. When I queried this they tell me they need the account to be 1-2 months in credit, a statement I believe contradicts their terms and conditions. Furthermore they lost my actual meter readings and replaced them with wildly inaccurate estimates. I have been with them long enough to expect their estimates not to be 3 times my actual usage. As a final straw they suddenly changed my billing date, rendering my meter readings pointless.

Profile photo of julieshrive
Member

They are franchising Government grants to companies only interested in profit then turning a blind eye if there are problems like call centres not ordering parts or overseeing ,mine replaced radiators with bleed holes on other side so were behind furniture so couldn’t be got at .This was when they knew had movement problem,They also did not replace pump that failed causing whole kitchen floor to need replacing .Refused to admit to their role.

Member
rosie says:
5 February 2014

npower.. truely appauling. the average waiting time on hold is about 45 mins and i’ve been cut off after 20mins on several occassions. I actually switched from them in August last year, waited until December for them to officially close my account and I’m still waiting for a refund of the credit on my account, despite numerous calls. I have lodged 3 complaints (unanswered), lodged a complaint in the first week of Jan with their Executive Complaints team (was told my ‘patience is kindly appreciated’), they ignored my email 3 weeks later pointing out my patience was wearing thin.

Member
vikki says:
16 March 2014

Co-operative energy….I have changed energy supplier periodically over the past few years in order to get the best deal, and never encountered problems until switching to Co-op energy in January. Despite providing transfer readings as requested in mid – January, 2 months later I am still waiting for them to send the gas reading to my previous supplier, and correct the inaccurate electricity readings they did send. The call centre tries to be helpful but does nothing; emails go unanswered and they don’t progress complaints – really regret moving to them

Profile photo of jammycolin
Member

Its hard to understand energy companies …. I have sent several emails to First Utility about becoming a customer all have gone unanswered how the hell they are in business is beyond me if they won’t answer potential new customers, Perhaps they are doing me a favour as I dread to think what would happen if I was a customer and I had a problem. Well time to look again for a new supplier.

Profile photo of Iancampbell
Member

I have just changed from spark energy to green star energy(previous to this I was with npower) as a result of changing from npower to spark I made some small savings, however despite providing spark with readings for both gas and electricity regularly my bills remained consistent despite building up a large credit . After two years I decided enough was enough, I moved to green star. Despite the change over occurring on the 16th September spark took a further payment by direct debit on the 1st of October leaving me £912 in credit with them, they then informed me they would be paying me this back within 28 working days . It appears I am yet again a savings bank for an energy company. These people are hard to get hold of and difficult to deal with. Despite paying for my energy in advance they are reluctant to return overpayments… I am very disappointed and would not recommend this company to anyone under any circumstances

Member
Lesley Bradley says:
21 April 2016

I have been with British Gas over 20 years, but finally changed to Ovo Duel Energy after reading your report and will hopefully be saving a considerable sum. The changeover was seamless with Ovo, and when I got my final bills from British Gas in March, I settled immediately. I printed off the Closed Account showing zero balances and about a week later I received an email saying I still owed an amount. So I rang Customer Services who told me it was their mistake and not to worry. I received a further email yesterday saying I owed £38.54 for electricity and, among other things telling me my credit rating could be affected. I telephoned and spoke I believe to India. I was given an explanation quoting many different figures which made no sense to me at all, but the bottom line is, apparently I do still owe this amount. Will I be glad to see the back of them!

Member
Levi Pay says:
29 August 2016

I love Ecotricity!!

So much better than my last two suppliers (EON and Scottish Power). Many surveys tend to score Ecotricity well on customer service. I know it’s a small thing in some ways but I really liked the fact that, when I phoned Ecotricity, I got straight through to a person rather than one of those “press 1 for this, press 2 for that” systems. Ecotricity are fantastic in terms of their green credentials too.

If you are thinking of going for Ecotricity, use this refer-a-friend code [B]RAF-K8B5V[/B] and you’ll get £50 worth of vouchers to use on Ecotopia. (I used my vouchers to buy £50 worth of LED light bulbs, which will save me even more money.)

Profile photo of levi_pay@yahoo.co.uk
Member

Whoops – that code copied some weird formatting when I cut and pasted it from the email they sent me. The Ecotricity refer-a-friend code, to get your £50 voucher, should just be RAF-K8B5V.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Ecotricity will need friends, if my comparison site is correct. Almost every other energy company is cheaper, looking at a medium user in my area. 196 cheaper tariffs, only 9 more expensive. The difference between Ecotricity and the cheapest is £333 – 45% more expensive. It depends what you value most in a supplier.