- Energy providers asked to make public their customer service ratings
- But Citizens Advice data shows that no company gets even 4 out of 5 stars.
SSE Energy Services and Utilita have the worst overall customer service of all energy companies, according to the charity Citizens Advice, although neither company scores higher than 3.65 out of 5 stars.
Earlier this week, regulator Ofgem ordered energy companies to improve customer service, especially for vulnerable and indebted customers.
Ofgem is also ordering energy companies to publish Citizens Advice ratings of their customer service so the public can see how they compare on issues such as call waiting times and quality of answers.
But that Citizen Advice data is now available, and the details are revealing.
|energy company||Stars out of five|
|ESS Energy Services||1.83|
|E (Gas and Electricity)||2.63|
|light bulb energy||2.85|
|Outperform the market||3.65|
|Source: Citizen Advice|
Citizens Advice compared energy companies on criteria such as number of complaints, ease of contact, clear bills, ease of exchange and customer guarantees, and then gave each a score out of five.
SSE Energy Services ranked lowest overall, with 1.83 stars, followed by Utilita with 1.9, for the latest figures from April to June 2023.
Citizens Advice found that SSE Energy Services had 142.7 complaints per 10,000 customers in the period, or 1.4 per cent of its customers. Their call center’s average wait time was 3 minutes and 11 seconds and 11.1 percent of customers had at least one incorrect bill.
Meanwhile, Utilita had 170.5 complaints per 10,000 customers, a call wait time of 3 minutes and 43 seconds and 6.9 percent of customers received wrong bills.
The best energy company for customer service, Outfox the Market, earned 3.65 stars.
Outfox the Market had 21.8 complaints per 10,000 customers, call wait times of 51 seconds, and 0.6 percent of customers reported receiving an incorrect bill.
SSE Energy Services is now owned by Ovo after an acquisition deal in 2019, and all customers will move over by the end of the month.
A Utilita spokesperson said: ‘Once again, Citizens Advice’s star rating does not reflect either the unique nature of our business or the service our customers receive.
‘Utilita is unlike any other UK energy supplier. As a Smart+ Pay As You Go specialist, we serve some of the UK’s most deprived households, who tend to use Citizens Advice services more than the average credit customer.
‘We also have problems with their way of recording complaints, which classifies “contacts” sent to them by our customers as “complaints”, regardless of whether we are at fault or not. Until rankings recognize these important points, they will not provide a representative picture.’
Ovo declined to comment on behalf of SSE Energy Services.