Which energy company receives the most complaints?

Peter Jordan/PA Archive

We all know that most energy companies are far from popular, but the latest energy complaints data from Consumer Focus have revealed the the company whose complaints have increased the most, and the worst performing supplier.

So just who did we complain about more than any other?

The best and the worst of the energy suppliers

Star ratings - Oct-Dec 2011
1. SSE 5*
2. British Gas 4*
3. Scottish Power 3*
4. E.ON 3*
5. npower 3*
6. EDF 0

Weighted number of complaints per 100,000 customers Oct-Dec 2011
1. SSE 40.6
2. British Gas 60.8
3. Scottish Power 81.2
4. E.ON 92.4
5. npower 97.8
6. EDF 188.5

Yes, it's EDF Energy who remain at bottom of energy complaints league table. This is largely down to problems associated with its new billing system, and customers not being able to get through over the phone when problems arose.

Consumer Focus say there are some signs that the company's call centre issues are being resolved with complaints falling by 14 per cent. However, although it is making progress the company still has a long way to go to fully resolve the customer service issues.

Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus said: "The company has had ongoing problems for over half a year. A line needs to be drawn under these issues so the company's customers know they have a service they can rely on."

Surprisingly the figures reveal a small overall decrease in complaints levels across the industry - falling overall by an average of 4 per cent in October - December 2011.

Complaints about four of the Big Six suppliers all fell during this quarter with the exception of E.ON who had a 7 per cent increase in complaints, and Scottish Power which remained constant.

Despite these falls most suppliers retained the same star rating as the previous quarter. Only npower moved up the chart, regaining its three-star status after falling to two stars in the previous quarter.

Ms Gallacher said: "Any fall in complaints is clearly welcome but there are still many problems energy customers are experiencing which need to be resolved.

"Giving consistently good customer service and tackling any problems which do arise effectively is key to rebuilding faith in the distrusted energy market.

"EDF Energy has made some headway on addressing its problems but it is disappointing that the company remains firmly on the bottom of the league table again. Customers will rightly expect EDF Energy to take this further in hand, so it is welcome they have assured us that further progress has been made since December."

What you can do if you're not happy with your supplier

You should initially make a complaint through your supplier's official channel (you can usually find details of how to do this on their website). Make copies of any letters you send, and keep notes of the names of anyone you speak to on their customer service helpline.

If you find the company's response to your complaint unsatisfactory, you can take your complaint to the energy ombudsman and they will help you to resolve the dispute. Bear in mind that you can only do this once you have given the company themselves a chance to resolve the complaint.

Or, if you'd rather do with out all the hassle of complaining, you could vote with your feet and switch supplier!

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