Extra Energy most complained about provider ever
Extra Energy is the most complained about gas and electricity provider ever, according to charity Citizens Advice’s latest data.
Between April and June, Extra Energy recorded Citizens Advice’s highest ever complaints ratio of 1,791.2 gripes per 100,000 customers, compared to 1,682 per 100,000 customers the previous quarter.
It remains the most complained about energy provider for the second quarter in a row.
Energy regulator Ofgem is currently investigating Extra Energy concerns about its billing, customer service and complaints handling processes.
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The second to worst performer over the second quarter of the year was
Co-operative Energy with 850.3 per 100,000 customers, according to the charity’s data.
But it was Flow Energy that recorded the biggest fall from grace, with complaints increasing threefold. It dropped from the second best performer between January and March, with 32.6 complaints per 100,000 customers, to tenth place between April and June with 132.9 complaints.
At the other end of the scale, Big Six energy provider SSE remained top of the tables with 22.5 complaints per 100,000 customers, compared to 28.4 the previous quarter. SSE was followed by fellow Big Six firm EDF, with 30.5 complaints.
Difference between top and bottom widest in five years
Citizens Advice says the difference between the complaint handling scores of top of the table SSE and bottom place Extra Energy is at its widest since it began its energy complaints table five years ago.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, says: “The latest league table shows some suppliers are getting much better at sorting out their customers’ problems, but it's disappointing to see others getting worse at dealing with complaints.
“Patchy and unpredictable customer service affects people in many ways - from the financial stress of being hit with a late bill to the time wasted trying to get hold of a supplier on the phone.
“All suppliers must step up their efforts to make sure they are delivering a consistently high standard for their customers.”
How to complain
If you’ve got a gripe with your energy provider, you first need to complain directly to it. You can do this via complaints resolution tool, Resolver.co.uk, if your provider is listed on its site.
If you don’t get a response within eight weeks, you’re unhappy with the response you do get, or you’re sent a deadlock letter, you can take your complaint to the free Ombudsman Services to look into.
It can force companies to apologise, explain what went wrong, take action to correct problems, and issue payments of up to £10,000.
'We apologise unreservedly'
Ben Jones, managing director of operations at Extra Energy, says: “These figures reflect historic customer service issues that occurred during a period of time where Extra Energy saw our number of customers expand rapidly and unfortunately some of these complaints have taken longer than expected to resolve.
"Resolving complaints promptly is incredibly important to us and we have continued to see improvements in the level of complaints we resolve by the end of the next working day. We apologise unreservedly to anyone who has not received the standard of service we expect of ourselves."
If you’ve have a complaint about a financial service product you have bought but the company you bought it from refuses to resolve your problem after eight weeks, the Ombudsman can help. The Ombudsman will investigate and resolve the matter. The Ombudsman is independent and its service is free to consumers. The Ombudsman may find in the company’s favour but consumers don’t have accept its decision and are always free to go to court instead. But if they do accept an Ombudsman’s decision, it is binding both on them and on the business.