November energy complaints up 182% on last year

by Communications Team | Dec 08, 2014

  • Monthly complaints to Ombudsman Services: Energy reached 5,102 in November – the third highest on record
  • Complaints made in November rise 182% on November 2013 levels
  • Sales and transfer-related complaints fall

Energy complaints made to Ombudsman Services: Energy during November fell 1% on the number recorded in October. Despite this, the 5,102 complaints made during the month are the third highest on record, surpassed only by July (5,439) and October (5,160) of this year.

Complaints made during November represent a 182% increase on the same period last year (November 2013: 1,810) as customers become more aware of their rights and less willing to accept poor customer service.

Billing-related complaints were up 1% on last month reaching 4,398 with issues concerning the refund of overpayments soaring 19% as customers battle incorrect bills. Meanwhile, complaints relating to sales and transfers were down on last month by 22% and 12% respectively.

The sole ombudsman for the energy sector, Ombudsman Services: Energy can investigate disputes that have been ongoing for eight weeks or more or those that have reached deadlock stage. Consumers must contact their supplier directly in the first instance before approaching the ombudsman.

Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith commented: “While November’s figures show that consumers are increasingly willing to escalate complaints when they feel like they have been wronged, it’s encouraging to see a drop in the number of problems relating to transfers and sales.”

“We will continue our efforts to raise awareness among consumers to make them aware of their rights and the message is clear: if you experience a problem with your supplier and it remains unresolved, Ombudsman Services is here to help.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

  • Ombudsman Services is a not for profit, private company limited by guarantee. 
  • Ombudsman Services is a national, private sector ombudsman scheme which provides independent dispute resolution for the communications, energy, property, copyright licensing sectors, the Green Deal, the ABFA, Reallymoving.com and Which? Trusted Traders scheme.
  • The Chief Ombudsman’s speech about the future of Ombudsman Services in a changing consumer redress landscape can be accessed here
  • Ombudsman Services provides an expert dispute resolution service. The service focuses on encouraging early agreed resolution wherever possible and does not charge a fee so it’s able to offer access to redress for consumers to resolve their complaints without proceeding to the civil courts.
  • Ombudsman Services is a full member of the Ombudsman Association (OA) and adheres to its principles.
  • Further information about Ombudsman Services can be found at www.ombudsman-services.org

 

Month

Total

Jan-13

1119

Feb-13

1031

Mar-13

1125

Apr-13

1321

May-13

1447

Jun-13

1307

Jul-13

1844

Aug-13

1732

Sep-13

1571

Oct-13

1850

Nov-13

1808

Dec-13

1793

2013 total


17948


Jan-14

3516

Feb-14

3619

Mar-14

3589

Apr-14

3893

May-14

3931

Jun-14

4189

Jul-14

5415

Aug-14

4618

Sep-14

4583

Oct-14

5011

Nov-14

5102 

Dec-14

 

2014 (to date)

47731