Our interactive customer service indicators
Energy suppliers offer more than different prices – they also offer different levels of customer service. These indicators give a snapshot of the performance trends we monitor on supplier customer service.
Customer service highlights February 2023
Overall customer satisfaction has marginally improved since Q3 2022, but it remains near its lowest level since this survey began. Overall customer service satisfaction rose to 66% in Q4 2022, from 64% in Q3 2022. Results increased by 2 percent in large suppliers and 8 percent in small suppliers, respectively to 66% and 71%, while medium suppliers saw a 1 percent drop to 63%.
Satisfaction with billing accuracy remained at 70% and it increased by one percentage point to 69% for ease of bill understanding. These levels have been relatively consistent throughout 2022.
Satisfaction with ease of comparing suppliers (64%) and the overall switching process (67%) rose by three and two percentage points respectively compared to Q3 2022, but remained well below the values observed before the start of the wholesale gas crisis in Q3 2021. Most suppliers have tended to remove online tariff quotes while price comparison and switching sites have experienced difficulties with advertising tariff deals. This situation continues to negatively affect customers’ perceptions of the supplier comparison and switching processes.
Customers' experience of how easy it is to contact their supplier has also continued on a generally downward trend in Q4 2022. The proportion of customers finding it very or fairly easy to contact their supplier (49%) was down by 1 percentage point, after the first increase in Q3 2022 since Q4 2020.
If things go wrong
Across the market, the number of complaints received by suppliers per 100,000 customer accounts in Q4 2022 increased by 14% from the previous quarter and by 33% from Q4 2021. This was mainly driven by higher complaint volumes reported by large and medium suppliers.
For large suppliers as a group, the number of complaints received per 100,000 customer accounts increased by 15% from the previous quarter and by 31% from Q4 2021. For medium suppliers, it increased by 12% from the previous quarter and by 93% from Q4 2021. For small suppliers, it increased by less than 1% from the previous quarter and decreased by 40% from Q4 2021.
We all expect certain things from our energy suppliers, like understandable bills and the ability to contact them when we need to. These indicators show customer satisfaction with those and other fundamental points, for the overall market and across different groups of suppliers. The data comes from a new dedicated quarterly energy satisfaction survey commissioned in 2018 by Ofgem in conjunction with Citizens Advice.
For previously published customer satisfaction indicators based on a different survey and methodology as of February 2017 please see Customer satisfaction indicators - previous updates.
If things go wrong
No-one wants to have to complain about their energy supplier, and if you do, you want them to resolve your problem as soon as possible. Ofgem, Citizens Advice and the Ombudsman publish complaints statistics. The separate statistics show how many complaints suppliers receive, how many complaints Citizens Advice handle, weighted by the seriousness of the complaint, and how many complaints are accepted by the Ombudsman after failing to be resolved by the supplier. This helps to show a full picture of the customer’s complaint from start to finish.
The complaints data is provided by suppliers. As of July 2018, suppliers are required to submit complaints data to us on a monthly and quarterly basis. See our guidance on submitting customer complaints data. They also publish domestic complaints data on their websites, including their 'top 5' reasons for complaints and the measures they are taking to improve how they handle customer complaints. The six large legacy suppliers have voluntarily published quarterly domestic complaints data since 1 October 2012, and many smaller suppliers have done so from 1 April 2013. At present, we generally cover suppliers with at least one full year of data. Missing data points in the complaint charts are due to suppliers failing to make the information available in time for our publication update or due to cases where we have asked suppliers to resolve data discrepancies.
Sometimes you might need your supplier to provide you additional support, for example by helping you to repay an energy debt. These indicators compare how well suppliers support their customers.