How do I complain to my energy supplier?
Are you unhappy with the service you’ve received from your energy supplier? If so, there are a number of ways that you can effectively lodge a complaint against them.
Energy suppliers are notoriously difficult to get hold of when it comes to lodging a complaint, but all of them must adhere to strict rules laid out by energy regulator Ofgem.
What do I need to make a complaint?
If you want to make a complaint the first call you should make is to your energy supplier. If you do not know your energy supplier’s telephone number, click here to see a list of the major providers in the UK and their contact details.
If your problem is a simple one, then telephoning your supplier is often the best bet. If, however, your issue is quite complex you should send it to them in writing. Make sure you keep a record of everything you send, and if your supplier requests you send bills to them, ensure you make copies for your reference.
If your complaint is about payment and billing issues, you should make sure you keep a record of all bills and have them at hand for reference purposes. Your bills will often have account numbers and reference numbers on it, as well as other small parts of vital information that could be useful when making a complaint.
What can I do if my energy supplier doesn’t resolve my problem?
If your energy supplier doesn’t resolve the problem, or you feel unsatisfied with their response, you should contact government consumer helpline Consumer Direct (found here http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/).
Consumer direct will give you further advice about your options for pursuing the complaint, but they will not take the complaint to the provider for you. However, if they feel that your complaint could go further they may refer you to an agency like Trading Standards, who can take direct action themselves.
I haven’t heard back from my energy supplier, how long should this take?
Energy suppliers have a set time limit in which to resolve most complaints. The time limit is eight weeks for the big six energy suppliers (British Gas, Eon, ScottishPower, EDF, Npower and Scottish and Southern Energy) and 12 weeks for smaller suppliers.
If your complaint to your energy supplier reaches a deadlock situation, contact the Energy Supply Ombudsman. A deadlock means you've been through your energy company's complaints procedure and reached a point where your supplier says they can do nothing more to produce a satisfactory solution.
The Ombudsman service is independent and free to use. The Ombudsman has the power to decide what action should be taken and can force an energy supplier to take action. This could be some practical steps to sort your problem out, an apology, explanation or compensation.