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npower is most complained about UK energy supplier

A new report from Consumer Futures singles out the German gas and electricity firm for its high volume of complaints

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npower topped the complaints table

Research carried out by Consumer Futures, the new operating name for the National Consumer Council, found npower received 202 complaints per 100,000 customers between April and June 2013.

The figure is almost three times that of the second most complained about supplier – EDF Energy – which received 75 complaints during the same timeframe.

German-owned npower blamed the move to a new IT system as the main reason behind the high level of complaints.

Complaints table*

  1. npower 202
  2. EDF 75
  3. E.ON 60
  4. British Gas 55
  5. ScottishPower 41
  6. SSE 38

*Number of complaints per 100,000 customers between April and June 2013

‘Suppliers still have a long way to go’

Speaking on the research, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus Audrey Gallacher said: “Energy companies have repeatedly said they want to rebuild consumer trust. Good customer service and complaints handling are key ingredients to achieving this and suppliers still have a long way to go.”

Citizens Advice’s chief executive, Gillian Guy agreed and said the charity was contacted with regards to 90,000 energy related issues every 12 months.

Guy also hit out at several of the practices currently employed by the big six energy companies: “People are being hit with large back bills, find their bill unclear and direct debit customers are frustrated companies are holding onto their money when they’re in credit.”

npower: “We’re working very hard” to resolve issues

Director Domestic Retail Business at npower Roger Hattam was keen to point out that although some customers had not had “the service they deserve”, the company was working to put this right.

He said: “We’ve had some challenges with a new computer system and we’re sorry that this has caused problems for customers. I want to reassure them that we’re working very hard and making progress in ensuring that these issues are resolved as quickly as possible.”

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