Energy customers who have an unresolved complaint with their supplier can contact the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) who can help resolve the issue.
And more people are turning to the regulator. There was a 63% increase in the number of consumers contacting their Customer Care Team in 2018 – with 4,870 consumers getting in touch.
A total of 274 energy complaints, an increase of 18% on the previous year, were investigated by the regulator in 2018. Almost half of all complaints investigated were upheld in favour of the consumer. And perhaps unsurprisingly the top three categories of complaints included Billing, Account Problems and Charges/tariffs.
So what should you do if you have a complaint…
STEP 1 – COMPLAIN TO THE ENERGY COMPANY
It’s important to provide the suppliers with an opportunity to put things right.
All suppliers work within a Code of Practice which sets out how they handle customer complaints including timescales. This is published on their website or you can also ask for a copy.
Suppliers will usually acknowledge a complaint within a few days and should keep you informed in terms of the investigation. They must provide a final response within two months although most should take less than this.
Tips when Making a Complaint
Before you make a complaint, there are a few things you should do to make sure you get the outcome that you want.
- Have an idea of what outcome you want, or would accept.
- Gather any information you need including bills, letters, account details, notes of previous conversations or any other relevant documents.
- Do not send originals of related documents. Send a copy and retain the original.
- Try to remain calm when putting your case forward.
- Keep a record of any documents and make notes of any conversation including details of the name and title of the person you spoke to, the date of the call and any commitments or agreements that person makes including promises to call you back.
- Always ask for a complaint reference number.
STEP 2 –UNRESOLVED COMPLAINT: GET IN TOUCH WITH CRU
If the complaint remains unresolved or you are not satisfied with the response from the energy company, or they have failed to respond, contact the regulator who will look to investigate your complaint on your behalf.