HOUSEHOLDS struggling to cope with soaring bills are also facing falling standards from energy companies.
Hard-up families are finding it increasingly difficult to get in touch with their suppliers, selon Citizens Advice.
Energy supplies must help customers who can’t afford their bills, but increased demand has meant they’ve been struggling to cope.
This means people are being left on hold for longer and are facing billing issues.
The Sun’s Squeeze team has been helping readers to solve their energy issues and save hundreds of pounds.
Par example, we helped single mum Symone McKitty-Smith https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/17482741/squeeze-team-reduce-debt/from Manchester save £300 on her energy bill
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And widow Lindy Higham was chased for £1,500 and couldn’t get hold of her supplier.
Citizen’s Advice has ranked the best and worst energy companies for customer service, between January and March this year.
Pendant ce temps, the Citizen’s Advice consumer service helpline saw more than 70,000 cases related to energy issues.
This was a 63% increase on the same period on the same year.
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Citizens Advice said standards started to plummet in June 2021 when the energy market started to collapse and millions of people shifted to new suppliers.
This has led to an increase in the number of calls each supplier receives leading to a rise in call wait times.
The average time to wait on the phone to speak to an energy supplier is now around six and a half minutes compared to just under four minutes during the same period last year.
Companies are also getting slower to respond to emails.
En moyenne, suppliers responded to 62% of emails within two working days, par rapport à 66% during the same period in 2021.
The charity is particularly worried about people on prepayment meters, who are at risk of having no gas or electricity if they can’t afford to top up.
It warns that without action to tackle poor customer service, standards will only get worse when bills are expected to hike again this winter.
Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, mentionné: “At a time when customers need all the support they can get, it’s worrying to see service performance is the worst on record.
“This leaves people frustrated and in the dark at the end of the phone.
“For many families on low incomes, life will get even harder when the price cap goes up again in October, despite government support.”
Here’s exactly where your energy company ranks on Citizens Advice’s list.
Best and worst suppliers ranked
Citizens Advice has scored suppliers out of five on customer service categories including call wait times, how long it takes to get an email reply and accuracy of energy bills.
It ranked Utilita as the worst energy supplier with a score of 1.6 out of five. OVO Energy came second from the bottom.
EDF came top of the list with a score of 3.6, with Outfox The Market coming in second place.
Bulb Energy came in third, notation 3.2 out of five.
But high scores have dropped since the previous year, according to Citizen’s Advice.
Here’s where all the suppliers ranked from best to worst:
A spokesman for Utilita said: “We acknowledge that we can do better, but we strongly believe Citizens Advice employs a methodology that is unfairly weighted against us as a smart prepay specialist.
“It doesn’t take into account key services such as Live Chat, Financial Assistance and Energy Efficiency advice, all of which we excel at.
“Comme toujours, we’re happy to work with Citizens Advice – who we recognise is committed to supporting its vulnerable clients – and look forward to a more representative picture of our performance in its next ranking.”
Ovo and Ecotricity have been contacted for comment.
How to complain about your energy company
If you have a complaint about your energy company, then you should take it to the Energy Ombudsman.
They handle issues between customers and suppliers.
If you’ve tried to resolve a problem with your provider and you’re getting nowhere, the Energy Ombudsman will look at your case and see if they can help you deal with the complaint.
It helps resolve issues on billing, installations and delays, loss of service, customer service, and switching suppliers.
If they help take your complaint on, they can only help back bill you for 12 mois.
That means you won’t be able to get help getting money back before this.
Another energy supplier has launched a £5million hardship fund to help customers with their bills.
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