In response to the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) updated issues statement on the energy market investigation Chief Ombudsman, Lewis Shand Smith, commented:
“As the sole ombudsman for the energy industry, our complaints figures support the interim findings of the CMA investigation released today. Last month we handled a record number of 6,776 complaints about energy suppliers, which is almost double the number of complaints made during January 2014.
"Echoing the CMA findings, billing-related issues continue to be the biggest driver of complaints referred to us, accounting for 85 per cent of all complaints recorded in January with most grievances linked to inaccurate invoicing and the failure of energy companies to produce a bill at all. However, we’re also witnessing a rise in the number of complaints relating to sales and transfers, suggesting that customers are beginning to wake up to the possibility of switching in pursuit of a better deal.”
Ombudsman Services: Energy can investigate disputes between customers and suppliers that have been on-going for eight weeks or more or those that have reached deadlock stage. Consumers must contact their supplier directly in the first instance before they can escalate the complaint to the ombudsman.
Ombudsman Services provided evidence to the CMA. Read the full report here.