Npower rated the worst energy company in the UK
The firm was placed bottom in Which?’s customer satisfaction survey for the fourth year running, with an overall satisfaction score of 35 per cent. Last year, as reported by Your Money, Npower received more customer complaints than any other large energy supplier due to major billing errors.
ScottishPower, who last year faced a suspension from sales activity, due to its consistently poor customer service, ranked second worst, with an overall satisfaction score of 41 per cent.
Both suppliers are currently under investigation by Ofgem due to their weak performance in recent years, and both could be temporarily banned from the energy market if they fail to hit complaint resolution targets.
Members of the ‘Big Six’ occupied six of the seven worst positions in the league table; small independent suppliers topped the rankings. Ecotricity, a green energy supplier founded in 1996, came first in the rankings for the second year running with an overall approval rating of 85 per cent.
“For the fourth year running, smaller suppliers are wiping the floor with the Big Six on customer service,” Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? said.
“Larger energy firms need to up their game as millions of customers deserve better. Companies should make immediate improvements to help restore trust among their long-suffering customers.”
Response from the Big Six was mixed; some were apologetic, others sought to shift blame.
“We’re disappointed with the results. We value all feedback and have already made significant improvements to how we look after our customers,” Roger Hattam, npower’s domestic retail director said. “We are absolutely determined – and focused – on making sure our customers get the very best possible service”.
A representative of ScottishPower, however, attributed the firm’s poor customer satisfaction performance to “a new £200 million customer service IT system”. “Although this will deliver real benefits in the long-term, the installation process has been challenging. Unfortunately, the installation of the new systems has meant we have not been able to provide the level of service our customers expect.
“We have worked with Ofgem to set challenging improvement targets in a number of areas, and we have already achieved two of these targets. We are also on track with our third commitment to significantly reduce our average speed of answer to just over 2 minutes, and we are continuing to make improvements in this area.”