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Ofgem criticise energy suppliers complaints handling


Over half of people who complain to their energy suppliers are not satisfied with the way their complaints are handled, according to new research.

The report came from the Office of Gas and Electricity markets, (Ofgem), an independent National Regulatory Authority who protect the interests of existing and future electricity and gas consumers. The research claims that 57% of domestic consumers who made a complaint to their energy supplier were not happy with the way their complaint was handled and in nearly half of cases where the supplier considered the case resolved, the customer did not. The key areas consumers were most concerned about were:
• The speed of resolving a complaint
• Communication during the complaints process
• How pro active suppliers were at resolving complaints

Ofgem has now contacted energy suppliers to urge them to improve the way they handle customers complaints.
Dermot Nolan, Ofgem chief executive said: “These satisfaction scores are frankly awful. Almost all energy suppliers need to improve their complaints handling as a matter of urgency. There are real business benefits to good complaints handling schemes, and it shouldn’t need a regulator to tell companies about the importance of this.
“Suppliers must now tell their customers what steps they will be taking to put things right. We are already formally investigating npower about complaints handling and other customer service issues, and this should send a strong signal to all suppliers that, where necessary, we will take action.”

Ofgem now plans to bring forward the next survey of complainants, to see whether the necessary improvements have happened and decide if more regulatory action is needed.

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