Have you suffered from poor customer service from your energy company? How to complain about your supplier as Ofgem names and shames
- Energy bills are skyrocketing, but customer service is lacking at every energy company
- Consumers say they can’t talk to energy company staff or spend hours waiting
- We explain how to file a complaint against your energy supplier
Regulator Ofgem says energy giant Eon has “serious” weaknesses in customer service, but customers of all suppliers are affected.
An Ofgem review said Eon, which has 5.5million customers, had a “very poor” record, with customers dropping calls and long phone wait times.
The regulator added that this “represented a serious deterioration in standards from when Ofgem had previously analyzed their performance”.
However, all of the energy companies reviewed by Ofgem had some kind of customer service weakness.
Poor customer service from energy companies coincides with record gas and electricity bills
Ofgem found “moderate weaknesses” in British Gas, E Gas and Electricity, EDF, Good Energy, Outfox the Market, OVO, ScottishPower, SO Energy, Utilita, Utility Warehouse and Tru Energy.
In the meantime, he has found “minor weaknesses” in Light bulb, ecotricity, green energy, seashell and octopus.
Many energy company customers are unable to speak to anyone to even make a complaint, Ofgem found – and up to half simply hang up in frustration.
Ofgem said common problems for energy companies include:
- Customers left on the phone for hours
- Energy company staff do not pick up the phone
- Slow responses to written complaints
- Lack of information on how to complain
- Staff fail to handle complex calls
- Poorly trained customer service staff
- High levels of customer complaints confirmed by the Energy Ombudsman
Ofgem Retail Director Neil Lawrence said: “Since being put on hold for too long, not getting clear information, or sometimes not being able to communicate with suppliers at all, this review highlighted that customer service just isn’t good enough.”
A spokesperson for Eon Next said: “We cannot and will not hesitate to provide the service our customers demand and deserve for a short time when demand has increased drastically and unexpectedly across the whole of industry, with a tripling of the number of people wanting to talk to us.
“But we can reassure our customers that even before Ofgem’s review, we had already introduced a number of measures which are leading to improvements that will bring us back to service levels we can be proud of.”
How to raise your energy complaint
If you can’t get anything done with your energy supplier, you can file a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman.
This is a free service that handles customer energy complaints regarding customer service, billing, changing supplier, etc.
Before you can file a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman, you must first speak to your supplier and file a formal complaint.
If you don’t hear back within eight weeks, or if it’s been eight weeks since they made a final decision, you can go to the Energy Ombudsman to file a new complaint.
It can take months to get a decision. However, you can appeal if you think the ombudsman has been unfair.