Energy Ombudsman Report Displays 71% Rise In Complaints

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A new report released by the energy ombudsman has displayed a 71 per cent rise in complaints  about energy suppliers during October and November of last year (2013) compared to figures for the same period during the previous year.

It revealed that a total of 3,600 complaints were registered with the Ombudsman Service during this two month period - rising from 2,100 complaints during October and November in 2012.

Ombudsman Services stated that the complaints covered a whole range of grievances, including confusion caused by complex tariffs.

However, it also stated that the figure would have been much higher if more consumers were aware of how they could go about making a complaint.

The release of the report follows the implementation of new energy tariff reforms by industry regulator Ofgem, which came into effect on January 1.

Under the reforms energy suppliers will be limited to offering just four tariffs for both gas and electricity, and have to simplify the way in which consumers are charged for their energy.

Welcoming the reforms, Lewis Shand Smith, chief energy ombudsman, stated: "Our complaints figures tell us just how tough things are for consumers. We are now receiving more than 300 complaints a week, and often these come from people who have been confused by the tariffs on offer.

"Ofgem's new rules make life simpler and fairer for consumers, which can only be a good thing," he concluded.

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