Worst energy companies for leaving you on holdFind out which supplier lets you wait 26 minutes

21 November 2015

Man waiting on phone

We waited 26 minutes on average to speak to Extra Energy

Extra Energy has been offering some of the cheapest energy deals on the market. But a Which? investigation found that whilst it may deliver on price, it doesn’t on customer service.

When we called its customer service number 12 times, we were left to wait anything between 17 and 37 minutes before a human being answered.

Read on to find out which energy company leaves you on hold the longest and which answers the phone immediately in our call waiting time investigation.

Make sure you choose an energy supplier which is good on price and on customer service with our independent comparison website Which? Switch.

Waiting for Extra Energy

In September and October 2015, we made 528 calls to 22 energy suppliers. We called each energy supplier’s customer service number 12 times each at set times of the day and recorded the time it took to speak to a human being. We did the same for their sales numbers.

Extra Energy came bottom in our investigation with a median waiting time of 26 minutes. Out of the 12 calls, the shortest we were left to wait was still 17 minutes.

Extra Energy told us: ‘We are extremely sorry for the length of time it is taking for some customers to speak to our customer service team on the phone. We’ve grown very quickly, and as we’ve grown we haven’t been able to put in place sufficient resource to cope with the call volumes we are receiving. We are recruiting heavily and have extended our call centre hours to ensure we have sufficient resource in our call centre’.

Co-operative Energy disappointed too but its poor results are no surprise in view of the problems it's experienced with its new customer service system.

Energy waiting times shorter

Ebico answers immediately

Ebico, once again, is the fastest to answer the phone to its customers. We often went straight through to a human being when we called. New entrants GnERGY and Flow Energy did very well too.

And after years of keeping energy suppliers on their toes, we are seeing some improvement overall. Last year, Scottish Power was worst with an average waiting time of 30 minutes to its customer service department - this has improved with a median waiting time of two minutes and 34 seconds. The longest we had to wait in one call was five minutes and 34 seconds this time, compared to 48 minutes last year.

But overall, we still don’t like the fact that nearly all the suppliers we investigated answered the phone quicker to new customers than existing customers.

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