Energy company complaints soarEnergy bills are biggest cause of customer gripes

08 April 2014

Couple complaining to energy company

Energy company complaints increase

Complaints about energy companies have more than trebled in the first three months of 2014, compared with the same period last year.

The latest figures from the Energy Ombudsman show the number of complaints made during the first quarter of 2014 has increased by 224%, on 2013’s tally.

10,638 complaints were made between January and March this year, compared with 3,277 in the same period in 2013. This increase marks the biggest rise in complaints recorded by the ombudsman.

See which energy companies offer the best customer service and value for money - as rated by more than 8,500 customers in the Which? review of energy companies. We have reviews for major companies such as British Gas, Eon and Npower as well as smaller suppliers.

Energy company complaints

Most of the complaints made in the first quarter of this year were about billing. More than 2,000 customers protested because they did not receive their bill, while 1,474 grievances related to bill charges. More than 1,000 consumers complained about customer service.  

Last month, industry regulator Ofgem said it was referring the energy sector to the Competition and Markets Authority for a full-scale competition inquiry.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? said: 'The fact that consumer complaints continue to rise is further proof that the energy market is broken and it is right that it has been referred for a full-scale investigation.'

Which? energy campaign

Official figures released last month revealed the six biggest energy companies collectively received more than 5.5 million complaints in 2013.

British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE were criticised by customers on issues including bills, metering, customer services and payments.

Which? is calling on Government, the regulator, competition authorities and energy companies to initiate radical reforms in the energy market. These include increasing competition, transparent trading, simpler pricing and controlling spiralling costs.

You can pledge your support by signing up to our campaign to fix the broken energy market.

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