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Best ways to contact your energy firm

Need to contact your energy firm? Think twice before giving it a ring.

You’re most likely to pick up the phone to speak with your energy company, but that’s not the easiest way to get in touch, Which? research reveals.

The most popular way to get in touch with your energy firm is by phone – 40% of you phoned your gas and electricity company in the past year. But it’s worth trying digital communication instead. App, live chat and email were all voted as easier than phoning your energy company.

Overall, app was voted the easiest way to contact their energy supplier by nearly nine in ten who had tried it. Phone fared worst, with the fewest people (69%) saying it was an easy method to contact their energy supplier.

Email was also voted easy by over 80%.

If contacting your gas and electricity supplier and getting good customer service is important to you, find out which are the best and worst energy companies according to their customers.

Contact your energy firm the easy way

We surveyed 1,337 Which? members in January 2017 about different ways they’d contacted their energy supplier. Many firms use Facebook and Twitter to take customer queries, but these were the least popular ways and used by only a handful of people.

Use the graphs below to see the most popular ways to contact energy firms, and the easiest ways.

Which energy firm is quickest?

Phoning your energy company is not as easy as using its app, live chat on its website, or emailing, according to those who have tried them. Our undercover research last year found that you could be sitting on hold to your energy company for almost a quarter of an hour, on average, before you speak to a real person.

That’s if you’re a customer of small renewable energy firm Green Star Energy, which was the slowest out of 23 energy companies to pick up the phone to its customer services line when we investigated in September and October 2016.

Nine energy firms kept us waiting longer than five minutes when we called their customer services.

But six took less than two minutes to put us through to a human, and fastest firm Ebico kept us waiting just 21 seconds on average.

So if you’d prefer to call your energy company, check the results of our energy call waiting investigation to find out which pick up fastest.

Contacting your energy firm online

Some energy firms are going beyond email and answering customer queries via social media. Several firms have live chat boxes that appear when you access their websites, or apps through which you can submit meter readings or monitor your energy usage.

Eon recently launched an online ‘chatbot’ to help customers moving home. Called Sam, the virtual adviser will let customers share simple information – such as their move date, meter readings and new address – without speaking to a person. Eon says it will help customers ‘easily manage the energy elements of their home move […] online or via their mobile phone’.

Scottish Power has a mobile app that lets customers buy ‘bundles’ of energy in advance. ‘PowerUp’ is available on iPhone and Android.

Want to save money and cut your energy bill? Beat the tariff rises by using our independent switching site, Which? Switch, to find the cheapest gas and electricity deal.

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