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Northern Ireland energy firms: how long will you wait on hold?

Power NI, SSE Airtricity, Electric Ireland and more compared

Click Energy was the fastest to answer calls to its customer services line in our first ever undercover investigation of Northern Ireland energy companies’ call waiting times.

The smallest electricity supplier in Northern Ireland took just 29 seconds on average to put us through to a human when we phoned, as part of our snapshot investigation.

Power NI, the biggest electricity company, was the slowest to answer customer services calls, taking 4 minutes 15 seconds on average.

Find the best electricity or gas supplier for customer satisfaction, as well as call waiting times, using our Northern Ireland gas and electricity companies guide.

Power NI slowest to answer the phone

The fastest energy firms to answer our phone calls to customer services were the smaller ones: Click Energy and Budget Energy.

Power NI was the slowest to answer customer services calls, taking 4 minutes 15 seconds on average.

We also called energy companies’ sales lines, if they had them, to find out whether potential customers get to speak to an adviser faster than loyal customers.

Firmus Energy had the biggest waiting time difference between its customer service and sales phone lines. It answered our calls to sales 2 minutes 5 seconds faster than our calls to customer services.

But, overall, we found a difference of less than a minute, on average, between the waiting times when we called customer services or sales.

How do Northern Ireland energy companies compare?

Overall, all Northern Ireland gas and electricity firms were pretty quick to answer our calls to customer services. It’s great news that you shouldn’t be waiting too long if you need to contact your energy supplier in a hurry.

Our similar investigation into energy companies in England, Scotland and Wales found that the slowest took over 14 minutes on average to put us through to a human.

However, the fastest company took just 27 seconds on average to answer calls made to its customer services line.

Which? energy call waiting research

In September and October 2017, we made 12 calls to energy companies’ customer services and sales lines at set times of the day, and timed how long it took us to get to speak to a human. Where the contact route is identical for customer service and sales, the time given is the same for both.

Waiting times are median averages.

Power NI doesn’t provide a direct sales line; instead potential customers can request a call-back online. So Power NI has no sales call waiting time.

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