If you are a customer of one of the big six energy suppliers, look away now.
A survey by the consumer Group Which? of nearly 9,000 people has found that the big six energy suppliers have the worst customer service in the industry, with last place Npower racking up just half the customer satisfaction rate as first place Ovo Energy, and Scottish Power, E.ON and Npower scoring just 2 stars out of 5 for customer service, and Scottish Power and Npower just 2 stars out of 5 for complaints handling. Which? surveyed 8,902 UK adults in September and October 2015. You can view the full survey here. Here are the big six’s customer satisfaction rates:
– Npower 41%
– Scottish Power 44%
– SSE 52%
– Eon 53%
– British Gas 54%
– EDF 55%
Now, let’s compare these to the top six suppliers:
– Ovo Energy 82%
– Good Energy 81%
– Ecotricity 77%
– Ebico 76%
– Utility Warehouse 75%
– Utilita 75%
As you can see, Npower isn’t half as good at customer service as Ovo Energy and all of the big six come way short of what’s expected of them with regards to customer satisfaction. Independent energy suppliers like Ebico and Utilita are way beyond the big six when it comes to customer service.
However, the Which? survey is hardly uncovering a secret – the big six’s rubbish customer service has been known for some years and over the last few years, thousands of people have switched from one of the big six energy suppliers to an independent. This comes on the back of news that Ofgem ordered Npower to pay a staggering £26m fine recently over customer service failures.
Another Ofgem investigation recently saw the regulator impose a penalty and redress on E.ON for not making smart meters available for over two thirds of customers. E.ON were fined 7 million as a result of this investigation. And last year, it was reported that SSE lost 500,000 customers in 12 months due to what it called ‘stiff competition’ (they actually lost public confidence). All of which is to say, energy suppliers would be wise to improve their customer service sooner rather than later.