More people complain about Npower than any other major energy company, and the number of dissatisfied customers is on the rise for all.
According to research by Consumer Futures, Npower has had an average of 202.5 complaints per 100,000 customers, the worst of the six large energy companies, compared to the best, SSE, which has received 38.3 complaints per 100,000 customer.
EDF Energy also had a high rate of complaints at 75.5, followed by Eon at 59.9, British Gas at 55.5 and Scottish Power at 41. All are increases on last year, with Npower having had 86.5 complaints per 100,000 customers back in October 2012.
Based on data from April to June 2013, which collates complaints made to Consumer Futures, the Citizens Advice Bureau and the energy ombudsman, but not directly to the energy companies, the figures don’t include complaints made since price hikes.
While five of the major energy companies have said they’ll raise prices this winter, Npower’s 10.4% increase is higher than the average hike of around 9%.
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Best and worst energy companies
In our recent energy satisfaction survey, in which 10,000 customers rated suppliers on customer service, value for money, bills, complaints, and helping customers save energy, Npower came bottom scoring just 39%.
Small provider Good Energy came top, scoring an impressive 85%. SSE scored the highest of the large energy companies, with an average score of 51%, earning it ninth place.
You can find out more about the survey and look at detailed guides to several different suppliers with our energy company reviews.
Call waiting times getting worse
It’s not just energy companies’ prices that are going up: the amount of time we spend trying to get through to their customer service departments is also increasing.
Back in April 2013, we called 16 British energy companies to see how long we had to wait to speak to someone at different times of day. Our researchers spent 17 minutes and 5 seconds on average trying to get through to Npower, compared to just 21 seconds to Ebico.
This hasn’t improved as the average time waiting to speak to Npower increased to 19 minutes and 15 seconds when we carried out the same research this October. First Utility had the longest average waiting time, clocking in an average of 25 minutes and 10 seconds.
You can see the full results in our news story on energy company call waiting times.