Our complaints performance

If you ever raise an issue with us, we’ll not only work hard to get to the bottom of it – we’ll also keep a close (and constant) eye on the progress we’re making.

We regularly check how our complaints are doing – and publish our findings both quarterly and annually. That way, we can make sure we’re responding swiftly, really understand our strengths, and spot opportunities to make the process even better. 

Our results show we’re able to resolve most complaints quickly. But, very occasionally, we come across an issue that’s particularly complex. That means involving others, such as metering agents or suppliers, which can take a bit more time.

To see how we’re doing, take a look at the tables below.

 

Our performance over the last five quarters

The number of complaints we’ve received and resolved can be seen in the tables below.

Quarter

Number of Complaints received

Number of complaints received per 100,000 customers

Number of complaints resolved

Number of complaints resolved per 100,000 customers

% resolved at day +1 

% resolved at eight weeks 

  Q2 2017 

1111

1014

1062

969

43%

94%

1st April - 30th June

Q1 2017

920

841

849

777

55%

97%

1st January - 31st March

Q4 2016 

527

416

598

472

29%

81%

1st October - 31st December

Q3 2016

585

569

697

677

45%

87%

1st July - 30th September

Q2 2016

1056

1026

1088

1057

45%

91%

1st April - 30th June

 

Top 5 complaint reasons for domestic supply complaints

Reason for complaint

What we are doing to improve

Billing

 

 

We had an increase in billing complaints during Q2. 42% of all complaints received were due to system generated billing issues, primarily a delay in bills being issued. In January 2017, we implemented a new billing system to help continue to improve our overall service, and to make it easier for customers to do business with us. We have needed to check that all the data for each customer had transferred across correctly and that bills being produced from the new system are accurate. This has meant that some customers’ bills have taken longer to produce than normal.

We have a stabilisation team in place to identify and resolve the issues encountered since the new billing system was implemented and are working through the delayed bills to check and release bills more quickly. We have made a big leap forwards in automated billing reducing human interaction and speeding up processing times.

As part of the stabilisation team, we have a specific work stream looking at the entire customer journey to identify and resolve any gaps and this is already improving our customer journey, including billing. We will clear any remaining billing backlogs in Q3 and then intend to review billing on an ongoing, quarterly basis to ensure that we maintain our customer billing performance and prevent any impacts on our customers.

Payments

In Q1, a number of customers were affected by delays in the refund process. Whilst this also appeared at the beginning of Q2, we did clear all outstanding refunds and return to processing within our normal service levels in early May.

We have introduced system generated quarterly Direct Debit reviews which have caused an increase in complaints when linked with delayed bills.  The Direct Debit reassessment tool is working correctly, and we are now looking to make further improvements, and ensure the assessments are both in line with customer usage and their bills and the best experience for customers whose Direct Debits do need to be amended.

We want to make sure customers are always paying the right amount for their usage throughout the year and changing Direct Debits with seasonality does not suit everyone – we have a number of payment options for customers, and when there is a minimal difference in payments the Direct Debit will not change.

We have also recognised that some bills are taking longer to get out to customers, so we are therefore offering extended periods to customers to pay these delayed balances due.

Advice/Information

Giving our customers an excellent customer experience is at the heart of everything we do and it’s really disappointing when we get things wrong.  We’ve done a number of things to ensure we improve the level of customer service that we’re providing to our customers:

We experienced an increased volume of customer contacts following the implementation of our new system. To deal with the increased call and email volume, we have increased staff on our Customer Care team to handle customer contact quickly and effectively. As a result of this, we are back to working within our normal service levels. We have also introduced a call back system. This means that if a customer is in the queue waiting for their call to be answered, they have the option to retain their place in the queue but do not have to wait on the phone. Customers using this option receive a call back when their place in the queue is reached; within the first 10 days of implementing this we saw a 61% reduction in complaints regarding call waiting times.

Some customers experienced problems when inputting meter readings through online accounts; we have made changes to this and the vast majority of customers are no longer affected by this.

We have also recruited additional staff to ensure service levels are improved across our customer support teams including complaints. When we do find a mistake has been made, we are now able to work more quickly to put it right.

Where necessary we will write out to groups of customers that have been impacted by a particular issue and complete full route cause analysis which is fed in to our customer journey walk-throughs as part of the stabilisation project.

We also have dedicated resources on our Customer Experience team who have designed a series of FAQs for our customers, and we are supporting our staff with weekly updates that highlight areas that may be of concern to customers, providing additional training and signposting where additional support or information can be obtained.

Switching

Initially, we found that with the new billing system we experienced some issues that affected customers who were switching.  These issues have now been resolved and our customer switch process is now within 21 days:

  • Our switching service via the phone and our portal is now working well
  • All the information our customers need to make an informed switch is available on our portal
  • Direct Debits are being processed and set up within our SLAs.

Metering

 

 

During Q2, we continued to experience difficulties with metering appointments as we did in Q1. As a small energy supplier, we have been reliant on a number of different operators to service our metering requirements for our customers. In Q2, we continued to encounter a shortage of the engineers to carry out this work, and as a result we experienced an increase in the number of failed appointments. We’ve now taken the decision to transfer to one operator to improve our customer experience and have centralised the handling of metering appointments to give our customers better support and information about their appointments.

 

Annual Complaints Performance: 

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