Comparing Utilities on Complaints Received - UK
14-10-15

In recent research, Citizens Advice said that the difference between the UK energy utilities offering a great customer service and poor customer service is enormous.

The best performing company was SSE with 47 complaints registered per 100,000 customers, but Scottish Power received 944 complaints per 100,000 customers. Citizens Advice collected this data between April and June this year.

Energy UK, the body representing the biggest suppliers said: “The key thing here is a range of choice comes into play when shopping around for energy. Customers can consider fuel type, cheaper tariffs and good service when choosing their supplier. Smart meters will also significantly iron out any issues relating to billing when they roll-out in the next few years.”

This is true. As metering becomes more automated there should be scope to eliminate many of the complaints that are related to bills at present. However, there is still an issue here that some companies get 20 times the customer complaints received by their peers.

What Citizens Advice is asking for is transparency on customer satisfaction levels. Price comparison websites already allow customers to compare energy companies based on price and tariff, but if complaint levels were also easily available then it would address the fact that customer service and price are the two key factors that help people decide which energy company to use.

I agree that this transparency can only be a good thing for customers. It is also good for the companies too. Those who look after their customers will be able to use their good performance on customer service as a key differentiator. Those who have a poor record now will have more of an incentive to improve if the data is easily available to potential customers.

What do you think about the Citizens Advice suggestion? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn Profile. 

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