In 2008, OFGEM introduced new regulations to ensure that all electricity companies had proper processes in place to record and report complaints and to do so in an industry-wide consistent manner*.
This is our seventh annual report since these new regulations took effect. For the last six years, we’ve had the lowest number of complaints per 1000 customers in the industry – and we’re top by quite a distance.
Our aim at Ecotricity is to deliver the very best possible customer service that we can. The principles that guide this are simple: we’re honest and open in all of our communications; where we make a mistake, we say so and learn from it; where a customer makes a mistake, we also say so; and above all, we treat people the way we ourselves like to be treated.
We know that it's not possible to get everything right all the time, however hard we try. What is really important to us, and what we think sets us apart from other energy companies, is that when things do go wrong we put them right as quickly as we can. For that we have our unique Customer Champion Team, a team of people that access all areas of the business and whose job is to swiftly get to the bottom of all problems, resolve them - and report back to our staff and customers on an equal footing.
Overall, with 409 complaints in total between October 2014 and September 2015, our key complaints measurement stands at 2.88 complaints per 1000 customers.
That's up from 0.86 complaints per 1000 customers the previous year. That’s not unusual – we’d expect a marginal rise because of how many new customers joined us last year. Part of the reason for that is that, the more people who join us, the more staff we have to recruit and train – and it takes a little time to get everyone up to speed.
It’s only a small rise in complaints numbers, but it’s not good enough for us and we fully intend to reverse that next year. Still, it’s worth noting we’re still top by a long way – our nearest competitor has a third more complaints than us.
* Ofgem defined a complaint for this purpose (a reportable complaint) as being an expression of dissatisfaction that has not been resolved by the end of the working day following the day of receipt.
The Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 required the Office of Gas & Electricity Markets (Ofgem) to set new complaints handling regulations that are binding upon regulated energy providers. These Regulations came into legal force on 1st October 2008 and all regulated providers were required to make any necessary changes to their complaints handling arrangements by that time. A full copy of these regulations can be obtained via www.legislation.gov.uk or from The Stationery Office Limited, PO Box 29, Norwich NR3 1GN.