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Level of energy complaints triple


The number of complaints to energy companies has tripled in the last year according to the Ombudsman, whilst the biggest concern was billing.

There were 10,638 complaints in the first quarter of 2014, three times as many as during the same period last year.

Customer frustration and dissatisfaction

The main area of concern was billing, followed by customer service issues. In total there were 2,062 complaints about billing, and 1,067 about customer service issues.

The Chief Energy Ombudsman, Lewis Shand Smith, said: "Consumer frustration and dissatisfaction is something that we hear about every day and we welcome any attempts by Ofgem to make the energy market fairer."

Ofgem, the regulator for the energy market, recently announced that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will be carrying out an investigation into competition within the sector. The investigation is expected to assess whether the “big six” energy suppliers are preventing effective competition within the market, and how this affects the pricing of each energy providers service.

Advice to customers

Energy UK, a trade body responsible for representing the energy industry accepted that things can go wrong from time to time, but insisted that most customers have no problems with their energy providers.

Their spokeswoman said: "If a customer has any concerns relating to their bills, they should contact their provider as soon as they can, and if possible have an up-to-date meter reading to hand which will ensure their bill is as accurate as possible."

"Energy companies work very hard to resolve problems and most complaints are fixed within a few working days with no more than a phone call."

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