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Iresa banned from accepting new customers

Ofgem has told the energy supplier it has three months to make improvements to its customer service

electrical socket and plug

Iresa is a small energy supplier based in Nottingham who began taking on customers in early 2016.

The supplier has been known to top the charts in terms of cost, however the same can’t be said for its customer service.

After an increasing amount of Iresa complaints, the energy regulator Ofgem has taken action in the form of a “provisional order”.

What has Ofgem ordered?

Ofgem has banned Iresa from taking on new customers as well as increasing existing customers’ direct debits, and asking them for one-off-payments. These bans are in place for up to three months until it resolves current customer service issues.

The three month period sets out to ensure Iresa improves the service it provides to its customers, including in the following ways:

  • extending call centre hours, bringing down average call waiting times to below 5 minutes, and responding to customers who request a call back by the end of the next working day
  • responding to customer emails within 5 working days
  • clearing a backlog of consumer emails
  • logging and recording all expressions of customer dissatisfaction
  • acting to manage and identify all of its vulnerable customers, including offering to put them on a priority services register

Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “This order sends out a very clear message to suppliers that where they fail their customers on service, Ofgem will step in and take strong action.

“It’s crucial that all suppliers provide customers with good service, including acting quickly and effectively to sort things out wherever problems occur.

“Iresa now needs to act quickly and put its house in order otherwise ultimately its licence could be revoked.”

If you’re unhappy with your supplier’s customer service

Poor customer service can be just as much of an issue for large suppliers as it is for smaller ones. In fact, customer ratings show that some of the newer entrants to the energy market provide the best customer service, as well as competitive pricing.

uSwitch energy expert Claire Osborne believes switching can send a strong message to an energy supplier you’re dissatisfied with:

“There are over 60 energy companies in the market today and those which are succeeding are the ones which can demonstrate that they really do care about the households they serve.

“As our recent customer satisfaction survey has shown, the suppliers who are winning consumers’ trust are those which can demonstrate that they really do put their customers first.

“Any household suffering poor service can show their supplier where the power really lies by switching away to a company who will treat them well.”

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  • John Wearing

    Well have been with Iresa for 20 months and generally am happy with them. Yes maybe a bit slow in answering sometimes. I have previously been with Eon, tried to rob me blind when I moved and Scottish Power who tried to get money from me 18 months after leaving them although settled my bill and given final clearance. Have saved over £300 with Iresa and would not go back to the other robbers. My rates are still cheaper than any deal offered anywhere. I love Iresa. Ofgem should be harder on the big 6 for a change.

    • Michael Carney

      Lucky you, I have been with them for over 2 years and I would not recommend them to anyone.
      They have tried to stop me switching to a cheaper supplier by saying I was in debt on my electricity supply, even though I was over £150 in credit on my gas with a duel fuel “deal”.
      I tried to contact them via Emails which were never responded to. Eventually I decided to stay on the phone ,having called them twice previously and heard I was 51 and 33 respectively in the queue. 3rd time I was number 44 and waited approximately 40 minutes . Do not go near them

  • spotthelemon

    It’s a shame because Iresa has the potential to be a good little company.
    I’ve been with them 18 months & had to go to Ofgem. They claim to have a system which automatically checks meter readings to make sure they fit you normal usage so say you shouldn’t worry if a reading isn’t accepted. In the first 6 months I found the system very erratic sometimes rejecting readings that were perfectly consistent with previous ones. Then I made a mistake and transposed two numbers in an electricity reading giving a massively inconsistent usage with previous usage and their system accepted it. I realised a week or two later, informed them of my mistake and provided a corrected reading, they claimed to have fixed it but didn’t. Over the next 6 months despite me continually contacting them every month and providing accurate readings and asking for the problem to be fixed, it wasn’t and so I went to to Ofgem, Iresa then corrected the incorrectly submitted reading within days of Ofgm contacting them and corrected the billing account at which point Ofgem becked out saying job done but Iresa ignored any new electricity readings from me after that, substituting inaccurate estimated usages until a few days ago when they suddenly put it right & accepted my last electricity submission and transferred some money from my massively in credit electricity account to my slightly in debit (normal for this time of year) gas account. I’m guessing this was because the ofgem action against them stopped them increasing the gas direct debit.and they couldn’t justify transferring money from the electricity account unless they fixed it

  • Jonathan Norris

    Was with them for a year until a couple of weeks ago and had no problems at all, everything very smooth from start to finish though never had to contact customer service. Only left because found a similar tariff (ie cheapest) but with a 100% renewable supplier.