Ombudsman should get tough on energy companiesWhich? says companies must be named and shamed
20 July 2011
As the Energy Ombudsman (EO) publishes its annual complaints data, Which? calls for better handling of complaints across the energy sector.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? said: 'The energy industry has such a poor record for providing good customer service that the Ombudsman needs to use every tool available to improve this situation for consumers.'
Currently, if a consumer wants to complain about an energy company, they must put their complaint in to the company first. If the issue hasn't been resolved after eight weeks they can refer the complaint to the Energy Ombudsman.
Publish energy complaints data
Although the majority of complaints that are referred to the EO are upheld, there is currently no requirement for the EO to publish details of the complaints made against each company.
Richard Lloyd urged consumers to pursue their complaint even if it had been rejected by the energy company and asked energy suppliers to 'become more open about the number of complaints that they receive'.
Make complaints data accessible
By publishing energy complaints data, energy suppliers will have an incentive to improve customer service. At the moment, the financial services industry is obliged to publish their complaints data regularly so that customers can see how their bank measures up.
Which? believes that energy companies should do the same. We'd like to see the suppliers:
- publish complaints handling reports in a standardised format every six months
- make it easy to access complaints data via a single click from the homepage of their website.
Which? energy campaigns
Which? campaigns to make people's lives fairer, simpler and safer. We're currently campaigning on energy issues such as the Green Deal, , and . To find out more about our campaigns, follow Which? Action on Twitter or facebook.