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npower earns most complaints of big six in 2013

Citizens Advice finds npower once again at the bottom of the complaints table


npower is once again most complained about supplier

On the heels of yesterday’s news that complaints against the big six hit record levels, comes new research from Citizens Advice naming npower the most-complained-about supplier of 2013.

The bureau, which aids those looking to resolve legal, financial and other issues, found that the big six supplier received 306 complaints for every 100,000 customers from October to December last year.

This is 10 times the amount of complaints that were made about fellow big six provider SSE, which had the least amount of complaints (31.5) per 100,000 customers in the same time period.

A history of ‘letting our … customers down’

This isn’t the first time the German-owned gas and electricity provider has been awarded this title. Last January, Consumer Futures found that npower had a 25% rise in complaints from July to September 2013.

Consumer Futures (which recently became a part of Citizens Advice) had found that npower had 253 complaints per 100,000 customers (SSE was once again the least complained about with only 32 complaints per 100,00).

At the time, npower’s Director of Retail Business admitted that the findings were due to installation of a new billing system:

“Last year, we apologised to our customers for the service issues they may have faced, following the installation of a new billing system.

“I know that we’ve let many of our domestic customers down and I want to apologise personally for this and promise that they will not lose out financially as a direct result of these issues.

“We’re working on these issues as top priority. Our customers deserve to get the best service possible and this is my commitment to them.”

‘Unacceptable’ progress

However, it seems these issues continue to plague npower customers, who were advised by Citizens Advice that suppliers cannot back-bill for energy from more than 12 months previous.

Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Gillian Guy found the results to be ‘unacceptable’:

“Things are getting worse not better for npower customers. It is unacceptable that npower has not yet sorted out the serious failings in its billing systems and customer service which are causing so many complaints and serious problems for its customers.

“For well over a year now some npower customers have been finding their finances thrown into chaos. Some are not receiving bills and others are ending up in debt because their direct debit was cancelled. Citizens Advice has asked npower to make sure people affected get any appropriate compensation.

“Time and time again energy suppliers are letting customers down. People will not feel able to trust energy suppliers again if firms cannot get their house in order and deliver decent customer service.”

Where does your supplier rank?

All big six complaints rankings from October to December 2013

#1   SSE                        31.5 complaints per 100,000

#2   British Gas          53.7 complaints per 100,000

#3   E.ON                     55.8 complaints per 100,000

#4   EDF                       62 complaints per 100,000

#5   ScottishPower    100.5 complaints per 100,000

#6   npower                 306.8 complaints per 100,000

Read more

British Gas issues profit warning as customers flock to small suppliers

Complaints about big six hit record levels


  • the ginger tosser

    Isnt it strange with big companies….when you owe them they want repaying yesterday when they owe you………their system has crashed, lost your details, they have no record of your account, any excuse not to pay the piper

    • rodders

      how’true’same as the BANKS”

  • anthony vose

    Only one longterm answer take ALL the utilities back into public ownership.No overpaid boards of directors and no shareholders to pay out, Now that WOULD bring down utility bills.

    • torchy

      Yes because i remember public ownership , how everyone was saying how wonderful and cheap it was !!! I think not .. no Soviet style monopolies here thank you … Average bill £25 + a week avearge wage £400 per week .. average food bill per family £ 150 per week .. would you like food supply nationalised too ? That’s more of an expense than fuel .

  • Mindless

    More mindless comments xD

  • noahpetshop

    But what were the complaints about ?

  • Perry525

    The problem with Npower is, they do not employ anyone who understands
    bookkeeping or who can read and understand English. They seem to think
    that, just because they raise a direct debit, that the customer must
    pay. Seemingly, they cannot add their bills together and reach a true
    total, then add the amount of money paid to them strike a balance and see the customer is in credit.

    • rodders

      its’better not to undrerstand’then you just get’BULLSHIT”

  • kris

    i am not surprised n power has had the most complaints,I just received an electric bill from them and they have not been the suppliers of my electric for 2 years…also how do i get a bill on a pre payment meter that was always in credit.When i rang them i waited 25 mins to speak to someone and was passed to 2 different people and still did not get an answer as to why i got this bill??????????

  • keith jones

    Why restrict the above table to the top 6. How many complaints per 100,000 customers did First Utility receive .They surely must be at the bottom of any league table for customer service and incompetence.I have now switched my supply to Npower who are brilliant by comparison.

  • david

    During 2013, I had major problems with Scottish Power.The problem took them approx 4 months to correct. A letter sent by registered post to their head office went unanswered. This year problems started again when I received an e mail from them, stating that I had an outstanding bill. This was rectified by telephone and an apology was given verbally. I received information from them re a query I had re the checking of my gas meter for its accuracy.The information which I received from them was so incorrect, it bordered on the stupid. I have written to the Ombudsman and I await his/her reply.

  • The Grafter Mrs

    The grafter Mrs says Bless N Powers little heart they have not a clue I am still fighting to solve a duel bill since November last year on my account it is closed yet they still want money and I am in credit what gives them the right to keep our money if in credit I am throwing the book at them

  • Harry Harris

    Shame A Utility WareHouse Distributor Tom Mckenzie has to come along and spam the thread promoting his own website.

  • Jez

    I agree with the comment from Keith Jones about the list only featuring the big 6. I switched from British Gas to Utilita in October. In February they still had not given me the meters they promised, despite numerous calls. Then their engineer found the wiring wasn’t regulation and said they would book a Norweb visit. They didn’t. When I called to ask why they said that I am supposed to call Norweb. When I called Norweb, and booked a visit, I was met with surprise that they were even dealing with a consumer about this. Following the visit I booked the Utilita engineer and he still had issues with the wiring. This time, he said, he was booking Norweb himself. Guess what? Nothing happened. Finally I switched to Ecotricity near the end of March after receiving a letter informing me that since I joined Utilita they had put their prices up and were now advertising lowering them and in the small print I could therefore switch. Ecotricity sent me a letter to say that Utilita were not allowing the switch. I called Utilita and they were very sorry, what could they do to win me back?. I was nice. I told them they had a week to get my meters done. Two weeks later… I need to call them in the morning and give them what for and get this switch complete. Utilita seriously sucks!!!

  • cobain_10

    I used to work for BG on the homecare side and I used to get complaints daily about the errors on the customers bills and trying to get an advisor from the energy team to take the call was a nightmare. I have my energy with sse who are brilliant I wouldn’t use anyone else now

  • MT Cambridge

    I have just dumped First Utility, they managed not to take a Direct Debit on 4 occasions, have not responded to 4 emails, did not sort out a wrong bill within the 28 days they stated it would be and telephone queues are totally unacceptable. They seem to have grown but are not able to cope with the extra customers

  • Kath

    I’m with you Anthony. We didn’t have half as many problems until most of the UK assets were sold into privatisation. I switch on a regular basis, we have state of the art insulation but because ours is an old house we still have huge energy bills. One of my major bugbears is water. We never had water shortages or massive floods until a lot of reservoir land was sold off…

  • howard hutchins

    due to me outsoucing IT to wipro and compuercentre, noone has a hope in hell of receiving anything like good customer service.
    ive blownthe monet I saved on doughnuts and ice cream

  • pcd

    Glad I eventually left NPower they controlled my DD kept raising it even though my account was over £300 in credit and couldn’t get refunded. Didn’t answer my complaints so I transferred then they came up with this ridiculous final bill amount based on their very confusing calculations billing me three times what I used. Case now closed and moved on.