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Smaller Energy Suppliers Bottom For Customer Service

If you’re thinking of switching energy supplier and aren’t sure which one to go for, heading to the Citizens Advice website to check out their latest customer service star ratings might prove particularly useful.

This latest piece of research has revealed that smaller suppliers don’t appear to be performing especially well in this regard, with TOTO Energy receiving a score of 1.45 for April to June 2018, down from 1.6 seen in the previous quarter.

Customers of TOTO report problems such as not being able to get in touch with the company and billing issues. One person explained that their direct debit was increased by more than £100 and another said they were unable to reach the supplier to resolve their problems for more than two weeks.

Not only that but the organisation’s data also showed that some customers phoning TOTO spent 23 minutes on hold on average, while over one in ten had to wait more than a year to receive an accurate bill.

Solarplicity – which has appeared in the rundown for the first time – came second from the bottom with a score of 1.8. But you might want to look into So Energy, which came top of the table for the third quarter in a row, with a score of 4.7.

Chief executive of Citizens Advice Gillian Guy said: “Too many customers are being let down by firms which aren’t ready or capable of providing a decent level of service. These aren’t small problems. Billing errors, blocking people from switching, and poor communications can cost customers money and make people’s lives a misery.

“Smaller companies at the top of the table show that size is no excuse for poor customer service. It’s vital that Ofgem now tackles the problem of newer and smaller firms letting people down and tightens up the rules around who can become an energy supplier.”

This comes after industry watchdog Ofgem announced that compliance cases had been opened into First Utility, Ovo Energy and Utilita because of their poor handling of customer complaints. Not only that but all other domestic suppliers now have to provide improvement plans on how they intend to address complaints and give the regulator appropriate updates in the future.

Chief executive Dermot Nolan said that although satisfaction levels regarding complaint handling has risen in the last two years, it’s still “unacceptably low”. Some suppliers in the industry have to be doing an awful lot more “to get the basics right” and ensure they’re providing the kind of service that their customers deserve.

He went on to say that Ofgem will now be keeping an eye on the level of customer service performance among all suppliers and the organisation won’t fail to act if suppliers do let their customers down.

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