Q1 2012

In the first quarter of 2012, the biggest cause of complaints from our residential customers was general problems with customer service. This covers a range of issues including call waiting times and whether our advisors were able to provide customers with the correct information.  

We know that our teams have often been under pressure, particularly during the busy winter period, and so we’ve recently announced that we will invest to reduce call waiting times this winter by making process changes and bringing in extra support.  

Complaints around Direct Debit changes have significantly reduced as we have started to make changes to our Direct Debit review process. We temporarily stopped carrying out reviews until we made changes to our processes so we haven’t reported on the number of specific Direct Debit complaints in this report. 

We’re moving to a 12 month anniversary scheme for all our customers, meaning that we’ll aim to get our customer’s accounts to have a zero balance on the anniversary of when they joined us, rather than at the end of the spring quarter.  We’ll still continue to review accounts each quarter though, to make sure payments are on track. Alongside other changes we’re making, we expect this will make Direct Debits easier for our customers and reduce complaints.

We’ve also held a pilot of a Customer Complaints Forum where we invite different customers who have had cause to complain to come and meet our senior managers.  We want to hear first-hand exactly what the problem was which led to their complaint, and also whether we handled their complaint properly.


 

The number of complaints we got

The numbers

Residential: 232,610 
Micro Enterprise: 57,195


What do the numbers mean?

We have over 7.5 million electricity and gas customer accounts.  In the first quarter of 2012, we had 3,084 complaints per 100,000 residential customers.

The number of residential complaints we have has gone down since our last complaints report – by 17% in fact. However numbers of complaints are still higher than they were at the same point in previous years.  And they are certainly higher than we would like.

We have made changes to our Direct Debit policy and this is one reason why complaint numbers have started to go down, as we know that this was a big concern for many customers.

We were also pleased to be able to commit to holding our prices for the whole of 2012 which we hope has provided certainty and removed a cause of customer concern.

We do our best to resolve your complaint first time round.  If you are not satisfied with the response you’ve had to your complaint, then please do let us know. ""


Complaints we didn’t settle before the end of the next working day

The numbers

Residential: 15,468 
Micro Enterprise: 4,505

What do the numbers mean?

The number of complaints left unresolved by the end of the next working day has gone down since the last report, which is good news.

We’re focused on resolving as many as complaints we can straightaway. ""





Complaints we didn't settle within 8 weeks.

The numbers

Residential: 2,482

Micro Enterprise: 689

What do the numbers mean?

It can sometimes take us a while to resolve more complicated complaints (e.g., if we need to work with other suppliers or have to get extra information from our customers). But we’re looking at how we can handle our customer complaints faster.

If they wish, customers can take their complaint to the Ombudsman Services after eight weeks have passed, if they’ve give us the opportunity to resolve the issue first.


Complaints where we've had to send out a deadlock letter.

The numbers

Residential: 91
Micro Enterprise: 400

What do the numbers mean?

‘Deadlock’ means we’ve investigated a complaint as much as we can. We’ve offered a solution that we believe is right but the customer hasn’t accepted it. At this point a customer can take their complaint to the independent Ombudsman for energy consumers.

Complaints that have gone to the Energy Ombudsman

The numbers

Residential: 248
Micro Enterprise: 73

What do the numbers mean?

This happens when we’ve reached ‘deadlock’ (see above). A customer can also go to the Ombudsman if they’ve been waiting for eight weeks and we still haven’t settled their complaint, so long as a customer has given us the opportunity to try and resolve the issue. 

The Ombudsman will look at the case and make an independent decision. The Ombudsman’s decision is binding on us and we will always try and learn from the decision where the Ombudsman feels we should have done more.



What was the biggest problem in the first quarter of 2012 for Micro Enterprise customers?

In the first quarter of 2012, the biggest cause of complaints from our Micro Enterprise customers was problems with bills.  This includes inaccurate or estimated bills. We’ve already done some work in this area to improve the number of accurate meter readings we get for our Micro Enterprise customers by making sure that we take meter readings at the right point in a customer’s billing cycle.  

We’ve also introduced a set of Billing Standards, meaning that we can only re-bill customers for energy used for the last three years, if we’ve made a mistake with billing. ""


What should I do if I want to complain about E.ON?

We have a clear process for handling complaints. The first step is to contact us and let us know you’re unhappy. It’s important that we hear directly from you about what’s making you unhappy so we have a chance to fix it.

Independent help and advice

If you have already spoken to us but would like to get additional impartial, clear and practical advice you can, at any point, visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or call Citizens Advice helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

What was the biggest problem in the first quarter of 2012 for residential customers?

In the first quarter of 2012, the biggest cause of complaints from our residential customers was general problems with customer service. This covers a range of issues including call waiting times and whether our advisors were able to provide customers with the correct information.  


We know that our teams have often been under pressure, particularly during the busy winter period, and so we’ve recently announced that we will invest to reduce call waiting times this winter by making process changes and bringing in extra support.  


Complaints around Direct Debit changes have significantly reduced as we have started to make changes to our Direct Debit review process. We temporarily stopped carrying out reviews until we made changes to our processes so we haven’t reported on the number of specific Direct Debit complaints in this report. 


We’re moving to a 12 month anniversary scheme for all our customers, meaning that we’ll aim to get our customer’s accounts to have a zero balance on the anniversary of when they joined us, rather than at the end of the spring quarter.  We’ll still continue to review accounts each quarter though, to make sure payments are on track. Alongside other changes we’re making, we expect this will make Direct Debits easier for our customers and reduce complaints.


We’ve also held a pilot of a Customer Complaints Forum where we invite different customers who have had cause to complain to come and meet our senior managers.  We want to hear first-hand exactly what the problem was which led to their complaint, and also whether we handled their complaint properly.


""