Complaints to energy companies research report 2014

Publication date
26th September 2014
Information types
Policy areas

Every two years we commission independent research to see how satisfied energy consumers are with supplier handling of their complaints. This report produced by GfK is the fourth survey we’ve undertaken.

What we’ve found

Since our last survey in 2012, with one exception, satisfaction with large suppliers’ complaint handling has decreased. Across the industry, satisfaction has fallen from 40% in 2012 to 30% in 2014.

The key areas customers were most concerned about include:

  • improving the speed of resolving a complaint
  • communicating better with consumers during the complaint process
  • being more proactive in resolving complaints.

Over half of those who had complained (57% of domestic and 52% of small business consumers) were not satisfied with the way their complaint had been handled by their energy supplier.

The report also finds that nearly one in two customers had either already switched or planned to do so because of their complaints experience.

Next steps

We’ve written to supplier chief executives to make clear that these results are unacceptable.

They must now explain the actions they will take to improve their complaints handling and to publish that response. The five worst performing suppliers are also expected to audit the processes they use to determine if a complaint has been resolved, and to publish these results.

We additionally plan to bring forward our next survey, to see if the necessary improvements have been implemented and to decide if more regulatory action is needed

You can view the report in full, alongside the open letters we have issued and responses from suppliers below.

Subsidiary documents