Q3 2012

Complaints reporting from 2012 third quarter (July - September).

The number of complaints we got

The numbers

Residential: 202,324
Micro Enterprise: 48,997

What do the numbers mean?

We have over 7.5 million electricity and gas customer accounts.  In the third quarter of 2012, we had 2,708 complaints per 100,000 residential accounts.

We are pleased that the numbers of complaints we received has fallen this quarter. 

We have particularly seen a reduction in the number of complaints about customers not understanding their bill.  We introduced a new single sheet bill in June and, although we won’t be able to judge the full impact of this for a few more months, we expect that this has contributed to the decrease here.

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

The numbers

Residential: 13,821
Micro Enterprise: 3,425

What do the numbers mean?

Again, the number of complaints that we didn’t resolve by the end of the next working day has fallen, for both residential and micro enterprise customers. 

We’ve increased the number of specialist customer complaints teams and so advisors can now pass on any difficult complaints to an expert, if they can’t solve the issue immediately themselves.

Complaints we didn't settle in eight weeks

The numbers

Residential: 4,590
Micro Enterprise: 1,313

What do the numbers mean?

Unfortunately the number of complaints that take longer to solve has increased this quarter.  We are on the case by dedicating more resources and improving our processes.

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: 183
Micro Enterprise: 293

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.

The number of deadlock letters sent to our residential customers has increased again this quarter.  This is because we are getting more efficient at handling complex complaints and means that the customer can get a final resolution for their complaint more quickly.  We’d expect this figure to continue to increase.

Complaints that have gone to the Energy Ombudsman

The numbers

Residential: 199
Micro Enterprise: 62

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 third quarter of 2012 for residential customers?

General customer service issues was again the biggest problem for residential customers in the third quarter of 2012.  This can include things like long call waiting times or advisors not being able to answer questions immediately.  

We have seen a reduction in the number of complaints relating to billing which we think is, at least in part, a result of improvements made to our bill.

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

The reasons for complaints amongst our Micro Enterprise customers has remained static since our last report, with billing being the greatest cause for concern.  We are looking at how we can make our bills more accurate and so improve the information that customers receive which we hope will begin to tackle this issue.

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.