E.ON launches new Code of Practice, improving service for business customers
“Our TPI Code of Practice gives customers the reassurance that with E.ON as their first choice energy provider they will receive great value for money and the support they need. We’ve seen significant improvement in customer satisfaction and have been recognised by the industry for that – including first place in the Citizens Advice league table for small business customers."
E.ON has today announced a new set of standards for both Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs) and its own internal sales teams, aimed at giving all business customers better quality service and greater protection when agreeing energy contracts.
Using the insight gained from its involvement in creating the Independent TPI Code of Practice over the past five years, E.ON is aiming to improve standards in business energy sales to ensure customers receive an experience which enhances the reputation of the sector.
Brokers signing up to E.ON’s Code of Practice can reassure customers they are using a reputable agent. All who subscribe to the Code are held to high standards and regularly monitored against a range of principles:
- Customers should make their decisions based on accurate and complete information – including transparent unit rates and daily standing charges – as well as knowing the process for renewing or extending a contract and their rights when ending a contract.
- Sales teams will be assessed to make sure that sales practices are fair and products or services are appropriate to the customer. This includes making the customer aware of how much of the market was searched to obtain the offers proposed to them.
- When dealing with customers, company representatives must clearly identify themselves and the company they represent. Sales teams must be monitored and appropriately trained. .
- Monitoring will be carried out to determine whether energy brokers are adhering to the Code.
Iain Walker, E.ON’s Director of Business Sales, said: “Our TPI Code of Practice gives customers the reassurance that with E.ON as their first choice energy provider they will receive great value for money and the support they need. We’ve seen significant improvement in customer satisfaction and have been recognised by the industry for that – including first place in the Citizens Advice league table for small business customers.
“Alongside E.ON’s direct sales channels, TPIs play a vital role in procuring energy and energy solutions for business customers and we want to work together with them to ensure we meet our responsibility to enhance customer trust.
“This new version of the Code has been drafted with input from customers, TPIs and in consultations with business representative organisations, which we believe brings it genuine authority and authenticity. I’m confident that TPIs who work with E.ON will adopt this new Code of Practice and ensure they give customers a compliant, consistent experience which enhances the reputation of their business and the sector as a whole.”
The Code of Practice has been developed in line with industry regulator Ofgem’s principles-based regulation to make it more focused on the delivery of fair customer outcomes for all non-domestic energy sales.
E.ON has created a separate team to carry out monitoring and assurance activity for its internal sales team and for TPIs to give assurance that principles are being consistently applied – they monitor interactions with customers when selling E.ON’s energy products. Any sales teams that are found to be breaching the Code can be suspended from offering E.ON tariffs to customers and may be reported to energy regulator Ofgem.
Alongside the new TPI Code of Practice, E.ON’s recent improvements to business customers include:
- E.ON is trusted to supply energy to more than 450,000 UK businesses. We know one size doesn’t fit all so our focus is to supply tailored solutions to suit all our customers’ needs.
- We provide online access to bills, allowing customers to manage their accounts, including amending their Direct Debit details online.
- Our new Live Chat service is available to business customers, giving them instant access to our trained and knowledgeable teams via our website to give them the answers they need.
- We have streamlined our Business Moves process to deal with all elements of the process in an end-to-end call, saving time and making things easier for customers.
- We give customers the flexibility to secure a contract up to six months in advance of their renewal date if they find a deal they are happy with. With a choice of energy plans, our customers are able to fix their price for 1, 2 or 3 years, helping them to manage their cash flow.
- Our Sustainable Business Fund supports smaller businesses struggling to pay their energy bills and provides online training courses to help them manage their energy costs effectively.
E.ON has been named the best small business energy supplier for dealing with complaints. The new ranking, developed by Citizens Advice, follows the charity’s quarterly league table for domestic customers which was launched in 2012 and allows small businesses to measure how well their energy supplier deals with complaints. E.ON topped the list with a ratio of 18.1 complaints per 10,000 customers between January and March 2017.
Notes to editors:
- Third-party intermediaries (TPIs) play an increasingly significant role in the SME / microbusiness market, negotiating c425,000 contracts per year, up from 320,000 contracts in 2013 (Source: Cornwall Energy);
- Research from Ofgem shows that perceptions of brokers across all businesses tend towards the negative (44% negative; 20% positive), with 85% of respondents in a 2014 study saying they had been approached by a broker in the last 12 months and 38% reporting more than 10 contacts over that timeframe.
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