Energy firms face fire from regulator on handling of complaints
Ofgem says it is clear that satisfaction among customers remains “unacceptably low” and it is taking further action to address it.
The energy regulator has revealed a growing list of household suppliers at risk of facing action over their handling of customer complaints.
Ofgem said its latest action included opening compliance cases against three challengers to the so-called “Big Six”.
Its crackdown was announced on the back of a survey for the watchdog which found 57% of complainants were unhappy about how their issue was dealt with. Satisfaction levels among the 3,783 households and small business customers questioned stood at only 32%, though this was up from 27% in 2016.
The main gripe was the length of time taken to act on a complaint. A lack of communication was also strongly cited.
Ofgem said that in addition to investigations into allegations of “poor handling” of complaints at First Utility, Ovo Energy and Utilita, it was expanding an existing case with ScottishPower – one of the biggest suppliers.
It said seven others – British Gas, npower, Utility Warehouse, SSE, EDF Energy, E Onand Co-operative Energy – had been ordered to come up with plans to improve their procedures. Ofgem’s chief executive, Dermot Nolan, said: “Although the level of satisfaction about complaint handling has increased over the past two years, it is still unacceptably low.
“Some suppliers need to be doing considerably more to get the basics right and provide a service their customers deserve.
“We will be monitoring the level of all suppliers’ customer service performance particularly closely after announcing proposals to introduce a price cap to protect those on poor value default deals from being overcharged. “We are ready to – and will – act against those who fail their customers.”
News Source: Sky News