Ofgem has announced that it will be publishing quarterly figures provided by energy suppliers showing how the six largest companies compare on resolving complaints. This will increase visibility of company performance.
The latest figures will be available at: www.ofgem.gov.uk/about-us/how-we-work/working-consumers/supplier-performance-consumer-complaints covering January to September 2014. The page also shows complaint figures for 2013. Ofgem requires the companies to publish this information and is now collating the data in one place so it is easily accessible for consumers.
Around 5.5 million complaints were made against the six largest suppliers in 2013. And as almost 4.9 million complaints have already been made between January to September this year, Ofgem estimates that the total for 2014 will exceed last year’s figure.
Ofgem has demanded an improvement from suppliers on complaint handling after a customer survey in September showed that more than half of all households and small business were not satisfied with the way their supplier dealt with their complaint.
Amongst other action suppliers must take, Ofgem has told the companies to resolve complaints more quickly and publish plans on how they intend to improve their complaints handling. Ofgem has also required the companies to publish an independent audit of their process for closing complaints by the end of November. Ofgem will bring forward the next survey, after which the regulator will decide if further action is necessary.
Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s Senior Partner in charge of enforcement, said:
“Suppliers must turn around their awful record on dealing with customer complaints. More visibility on complaint handling performance as well as our investigations into npower and Scottish Power increases the pressure on suppliers to improve in this area.
“If customers aren’t happy with their supplier’s customer service they should consider switching. It is now easier than ever to pick out better deals and save yourself up to £200 in the process. The Be An Energy Shopper website SHOPPING gives independent guidance on how to do this.”
The complaints Ofgem has published can be seen at complaints, the investigations into npower and Scottish Power can be found at nSP and investigation into prolonged billing and complaint issues related to npower is at prolonged