Calls for energy companies to improve complaints handling…

11 of the UK’s biggest energy companies are in the firing line as energy regulator Ofgem has demanded they improve how they deal with customer complaints. The demand comes after Ofgem surveyed 3,000 individuals who made complaints against the 11 biggest UK energy suppliers last year. The survey found over half of customers were dissatisfied with how their complaint had been handled.

The main causes of their dissatisfaction were the time taken to resolve the issue, not being kept abreast of the progress of the complaint, and suppliers being vague about how long it will take for the issue to be sorted.

As a result, Ofgem have opened “compliance cases" against four companies and have ordered seven more to come up with plans to show how they will improve their complaints procedures.

Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, said: "Although the level of satisfaction about complaint handling has increased over the past two years, it is still unacceptably low.”

He continued to say, “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.”

Ofgem have also stated if they cannot come to any agreements with suppliers, and they find a supplier is unwilling to cooperate or continue to fail their customers, they are ready to act. Enforcement cases will be opened and the companies in question will ultimately receive a fine.

Gillian Guy, chief executive at Citizens Advice said: “Customers need to have confidence that when something goes wrong, their supplier will deal with it. Today’s news shows this isn’t the case. It’s simply not good enough.”