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.”