Surge in energy complaints

Complaints against energy companies have surged due to rising prices and poor customer service, according to a consumer panel. Data put together by Consumer Futures showed npower was the most complained about "big six" company.

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Energy UK dismisses soar in complaints

"The vast majority" of customers are "happy" with their energy providers service, despite a surge in the number of complaints against the "Big Six" companies, an industry trade group said.

A spokesman for Energy UK defended companies like npower and E.ON and claimed they "take their relationship with customers extremely seriously".

The vast majority of energy customers are happy with the service they get with only around one in every 1,400 customers likely to need to contact their supplier about a problem.

Most complaints only need a phone call to sort out - around four out of five queries are resolved by the end of the next working day - but, if the problem cannot be resolved, the energy ombudsman is there to ensure problems get fixed.

Energy companies take their relationship with customers extremely seriously and work hard to improve customer service.

– A spokesman for Energy UK

Big Six must be 'more transparent' about energy profits

Energy companies will need to "put customers first" and be "much more transparent" about their profits if they want to win back public confidence, the head of Citizens Advice said.

Gillian Guy said they were dealing with 90,000 problems to do with energy companies each year as customers were hit with "unclear" bills.

Price hikes of 36% over the last three years, coupled with poor customer service, has compounded the lack of trust in energy firms as households struggle to afford to have a warm home.

The Citizens Advice service deals with 90,000 energy problems each year. People are being hit with large back bills, find their bill unclear and direct debit customers are frustrated companies are holding onto their money when they're in credit.

Energy companies need to put customers first and be much more transparent about where they make their profits.

– Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy


Breakdown of complaints against energy companies

Complaints against energy companies have soared, according to a consumer panel, who have compiled a chart of grievances against the "big six".Consumer Futures found:

  • German-owned npower had the highest number of complaints at 202.5 complaints per 100,000.
  • E.ON racked up 59.9 complaints per 100,000.
  • British Gas had 55.5 complaints per 100,000.
  • Scottish Power had 41 complaints per 100,000.
  • SSE were the lowest - only 38.3 per 100,000 customers had cause for complaint.

Complaints against energy companies soar

A huge rise in complaints against energy company is being contributed to consumers fed-up with a surge in energy prices and shabby customer service, a consumer panel has found.

Npower customers were the most likely to complain, Consumer Futures found. Credit: PA

Figures compiled by Consumer Futures found energy provider npower to be the worst offender in the eyes of customers, racking up 202.5 complaints per 100,000.

The main energy provider with the lowest number of complaints was SSE, with 38.3 per 100,000, between April and June 2013.

Consumer Futures admitted the figures did not include complaints lodged after the recently announced price hike.

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