Ofgem: "critical improvement" needed in dealing with customer complaints

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A recent study, conducted by industry regulator Ofgem, has found that the majority of customers who lodge a complaint with their energy supplier are left dissatisfied.

Over half of the people surveyed (48 per cent) stated they were left dissatisfied by the speed at which their complaint was dealt with; meanwhile 35 per cent stated they were left unhappy having not been given a promised return call.

Whilst overall satisfaction levels have improved compared to figures recorded in 2010, Ofgem stated that energy suppliers needed to make a "critical improvement" to the way in which they return calls.

EDF Energy recorded the lowest score out of the 'big six" suppliers for customer satisfaction when dealing with complaints, with Scottish Power and SSE rated the best.

The report stated: "Expectations are not particularly high or demanding of energy suppliers, but in most cases these expectations are not being met in terms of communications relating to the resolution of their complaint."

Director at Consumer Focus, Audrey Gallacher, commented on the study results.

She said: "The energy industry routinely tops the charts as the sector least trusted by consumers and the customer service they receive is a significant factor in this.

"It is unacceptable that many customers have to go through a long, drawn-out process to get their problem resolved. There must be a clear progress on this from suppliers. Ofgem has outlined moves needed by suppliers and the regulator must now ensure these improvements are delivered," she concluded.

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