Labour MP launches attack on energy suppliers

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Energy suppliers have been accused of treating customers like "medieval serfs" by a Labour MP, according to an article published by the Guardian.

Following Consumer Focus' revelation that the amount of complaints received by energy suppliers rose by 26 per cent during the last three months, John Robertson, MP for Glasgow North West, launched a scathing attack on the current level of performance.

He said: "What we are seeing is the subjugation of energy customers by the Big Six. These energy barons are treating energy customers like medieval serfs.

"And as snow is about to fall and temperatures drop, you would expect energy companies would be doing all they can to please  customers. However, these figures show if anything they are treating them with contempt."

Director for external affairs at Consumer Focus, Adam Scorer, was slightly more restrained, stating that there was still a distance to go rebuilding lost trust.

However, Scorer offered a more damning verdict on EDF Energy's customer satisfaction performance. He said: "Complaints about EDF Energy over the summer have had a catastrophic impact on its rating. While the system changes inevitably cause disruption to customers, this must be minimised.

"Its current complaints performance is unacceptable and the company must take further steps to tackle this," he added.

The criticism comes as preparations are finalised for the Big Energy Week in the new year.

Energy customers wanting help and advice about switching energy suppliers, comparing gas and electricity prices or ensuring they are getting the best deal available to them, can get useful information during Big Energy Week, running from January 16 to 21.

Big Energy Week has been put together by the Citizens Advice Bureau, and is being supported by prominent watchdogs including Which? and Consumer Focus.

The chief executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, explained: "There is a real need to reach out to more people who are struggling and Big Energy Week will be a chance for us to do just that."

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