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New energy complaints figures from Consumer Focus released

Energy complaints fell by an average of 7% according to new quarterly figures from Consumer Focus. The data, which covers the start of the year (Jan – Mar 2012) shows all but one energy supplier – EDF Energy – posting a drop in complaints numbers.

The big winner was ScottishPower, who have seen their star rating improve from 3 to 4 stars, the only supplier to see an improvement. SSE remained top with 5 stars, whilst EDF Energy remained firmly rooted to the bottom of the table with no stars.

ScottishPower’s improvement follows a strong week for the supplier, who yesterday released the cheapest variable tariff on the market costing £1,050 for the average dual-fuel user, as well as offering a £40 cashback.  This in turn followed ScottishPower’s introduction of the cheapest fixed-price tariff – the Online Energy Fixed November 2013 – last week.

Supplier star ratings 

Supplier Rating Rating Rating  Rating  Rating Rating Rating 
Jan – Mar 2012 Oct-Dec 11 Jul-Sep 11 Apr-Jun 11  Jan-Mar 11 Oct-Dec 10 Jul-Sep 10
SSE 5***** 5***** 5***** 5***** 4**** 4**** 4****
British Gas 4**** 4**** 4**** 4**** 4**** 3*** 3***
ScottishPower 4**** 3*** 3*** 3*** 2** 2** 2**
E.ON 3*** 3*** 3*** 4**** 3*** 2** 3***
npower 3*** 3*** 2** 3*** 2** 1* 2**
EDF Energy 0 0 0 1* 2** 2** 2**

 

Weighted number of complaints per 100,000 customers

Publication month

Jul-12

Feb-12

Dec-11 Aug-11 Jun-11 Mar-11 Dec-10
Quarter (Jan-Mar 12) (Oct-Dec 11) (Jul-Sep 11) (Apr-Jun 11) (Jan-Mar 11) (Oct-Dec 10) (Jul-Sep 10)
British Gas

58.2

60.6

64.5

55.2

74.4

83.8

89.2

E.ON

76.7

92.4

86.1

71.0

99.1

103.3

93.5

EDF

195.3

188.5

219.4

126.4

106.2

106.7

117.7

npower

89.0

97.8

102.3

82.4

111.5

133.5

121.4

SSE

35.4

40.6

41.1

36.3

58.0

72.4

53.4

ScottishPower

63.1

79.6

81.4

89.2

103.5

103.4

116.8

Average

77.0

82.7

86.4

68.8

86.3

95.2

93.0

Tables courtesy of Consumer Focus

Commenting on the results, Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch said: “On the face of it this looks as though the industry is starting to make some in-roads into turning around customer perceptions. This is vital if suppliers are to win back consumers’ trust and confidence.

“Dealing with complaints effectively and leaving customers feeling good about your company cannot help but improve customer satisfaction too – this is critical as the number of customers satisfied with their energy supplier dropped last year to 62%. It now just remains to be seen whether suppliers’ efforts with complaints will be enough to reverse this downward trend in customer satisfaction.”

Learn more

Energy switching – Everything you need to know about switching energy.

Energy complaints – How to complain about your energy supplier.

Cheapest gas and electricity – Who is the cheapest supplier for you?

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