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 May 2021
Customer satisfaction levels are at an all-time low. The overall proportion of customers reporting to be satisfied or very satisfied with their supplier has decreased four percentage points between Q1 2021 and the previous quarter. Overall satisfaction with large and medium suppliers reduced by four percentage points to 69%, and three percentage points to 70% respectively, bringing both groups to their lowest customer satisfaction levels since this survey began. Small suppliers remained unchanged at 70% from the previous quarter.
Customers' experience on how easy it is to contact their supplier saw a significant decline in Q1 2021. The proportion of customers finding it very or fairly easy to contact their supplier (54%) is at an all-time low, whilst the proportion finding it difficult or fairly difficult to make contact (14%) is at an all-time high. The combination of which means that at the start of 2021, customers ease of contacting their supplier was at its lowest since this survey began.
In Q1 2021 satisfaction with regards to billing saw a significant decrease compared with Q4 2020. In particular, the proportion of customers satisfied or very satisfied with the accuracy of their bill was down 3% to 74%. Those satisfied or very satisfied with the ease of understanding their bill decreased two percentage points to 74%.
If things go wrong
The volume of complaints received per 100k customer accounts across the domestic retail market increased by 11% when compared to the previous quarter (and a 9% increase when compared to the previous year). This is the highest complaint volumes have been since Q3 2019.
The increase was mainly driven by a rise in large suppliers’ complaints, up by 13% compared to the previous quarter. Small suppliers also saw an increase of 16% between quarters, whilst medium suppliers saw a decrease of 13%. In Q1 2021, large suppliers, on average, reported almost twice as many complaints per 100k customer accounts as small and medium-sized suppliers.
We all expect certain things from our energy suppliers, like understandable bills and being able 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 Citizens Advice handle, weighted by the seriousness of the complaint, and how many 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. 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 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 not making 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.