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Ecotricity tops consumer service ratings

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Ecotricity topped the Citizens Advice Bureau’s star rating system for energy suppliers for the first quarter of the year, scoring 4.4 out of 5 for customer service.

In contrast, Extra Energy has received the lowest overall score for the second time. The company received 2.05 stars for the first quarter, lower than the 2.5 stars it received for the period between October and December 2016. The firm has previously received record low scores for its handling of customer complaints. The supplier also received low scores when it came to billing and ease of contact – scoring 2 out of 5 for each.

The star rating system measures energy suppliers on five key factors: How well they handle customer complaints; the number of switches they carry out successfully; how highly people rate their customer service; how easy people find it to understand their bills; and whether the supplier is signed up to the switch guarantee that commits them to switching a customer within 21 days.

Citizen’s Advice said customers of Extra Energy had reported being unable to get through to the company to give meter readings, problems with back-billing and being charged twice for the same bill.

Scottish Power has made the biggest improvement in the star rating, from 2.75 stars in March to 3.15. The change was mainly driven by improvements in its complaints handling.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Customers should know what they’re paying for when choosing an energy supplier….We have found that some energy suppliers have made improvements in the service they provide, but it is disappointing that others appear to be getting worse. It’s important that all energy companies are constantly trying to improve, to make sure they deliver the best service they can to consumers.”

The largest energy suppliers were, for the most part, mid-table. EDF scored highest with 3.75 stars and npower the lowest with 3 stars.

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