Which? reveals more than 5.5m energy customer complaints for 2013



The big six energy firms have collectively received over 5.5m complaints over the last year, according to the consumer group Which? – as it calls on the government to fix the “broken energy market”.

Npower received the most complaints with 1,383,650 – while SSE and Scottish Power received the fewest of the mainstream suppliers, at 482,582 and 308,648 respectively.

According to the new report, complaints against the big six energy firms – which also includes British Gas, EDF and E.ON – accounted for 97% of the total.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said, “Millions of people are unhappy with the service they receive from the suppliers which, combined with low levels of trust is yet more evidence that more must be done to fix the broken energy market.

“Next month we want the regulators to refer the energy market to the Competition and Markets Authority and launch a full scale inquiry. This is the first and most important step towards a more radical reform of the energy market, giving hard-pressed consumers the confidence that they are paying a fair price.”

Green energy companies Ecotricity and Good Energy received the fewest number of complaints – 0.55 and 3.35 per 1,000 customers respectively. The average figure for the big six firms was 20.49. The pair also recently came first in another Which? survey on customer satisfaction.

Responding to the figures, the trade body Energy UK said that energy companies were doing their best to improve, especially in making it easier for customers to switch energy provider.

No industry wants unhappy customers but when you are dealing with nearly 27 million customers, things can occasionally go wrong”, it said.

Energy companies put a great deal of effort into resolving any problems their customers may have and most complaints are fixed within a couple of working days and with no more than a phone call.”

Which? has launched a petition calling on governments and energy regulators to fix the energy market by increasing transparency, competition and giving more power to customers.

Further reading:

Renewable energy suppliers back calls for more efficient switching

Energy switching hits end-of-year high with competition ‘alive and well’

E-petition asks government to enforce fairer energy bills

Consumer complaints to energy ombudsman up 71% in 2013

The Guide to Limitless Clean Energy 2013


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