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 August 2021
Customer satisfaction has marginally improved since Q1 2021, but it remains near its lowest level since this survey began. In Q2 2021, the overall proportion of customers reporting to be satisfied or very satisfied with their supplier increased by two percentage points. Large and medium suppliers experienced an increase, respectively of two and one percentage point, while small suppliers saw a one percentage point reduction.
Satisfaction levels with billing accuracy and ease of understanding of the bill, have remained at 74% after the drop observed in Q2 2021. Satisfaction with ease of comparing suppliers (79%) and the overall switching process (85%) was also unchanged.
Customers' experience on how easy it is to contact their supplier saw a significant recovery in Q2 2021. The proportion of customers finding it very or fairly easy to contact their supplier was up to 57%, returning to the Q4 2020 level from the all-time low of 54% in Q1 2021. At the same time, the proportion of ‘neutral’ customers has fallen and that of those finding it difficult or fairly difficult to make contact is at an all-time high of 15%.
If things go wrong
The volume of complaints received per 100k customer accounts across the domestic retail market increased by less than 1% compared to the previous quarter and by 59% compared to the same quarter in the previous year. While the increase from the previous year is significant, complaints were at a record low during Q2 2020. They the now appear to be returning to pre-pandemic levels.
The increase was driven by a rise in large suppliers’ complaints, up by 2% from the previous quarter. As groups, small and medium suppliers received lower complaint volumes compared with the previous quarter. Small suppliers’ complaints fell by 12% and medium suppliers’ complaints saw a reduction of 8%.
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 published 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 largest 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. We expect to publish complaints data from all suppliers in the market from summer 2019. Missing data points in the complaints charts are due to suppliers failing to make the information available in time for our publication update. We have investigated Scottish Power and nPower for breaches of the Complaint Handling Standards Regulations 2008.
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.