Energy companies hit rock bottom for customer service

New Which? research has found the Big Six energy suppliers are among the worst offenders when it comes to poor customer service, with Npower finishing bottom for the first time in an annual survey of the top 100 big brands.

Which! asked 3,621 UK consumers which companies are customer service champions and which brands just aren’t up to scratch. All of the Big Six energy companies languish in the bottom fifth of the table, with none of them scoring more than two stars for making customers feel valued.  Npower fares the worst with a customer score of just 57%, replacing Ryanair who came bottom of the table last year.  Second from the bottom is Scottish Power, with a customer rating of 58%, down from joint 62nd in 2013’s rankings.

The research also found that:

· First Direct came top of the table in our survey with a score of 87%. It achieved the full five stars for people feeling valued as a customer as well as its complaints resolution. It is joined in the top five by Lush (86%), John Lewis (83%), Lakeland (83%) and Waitrose (83%).

· Some of the big banks have a way to go to catch First Direct – Santander and NatWest were joint 70th with a score of 70%; Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Barclays/Barclaycard all finished joint 60th with a score of 71%.

· Automated phone systems were ranked as the top customer service gripe (43%) with being passed around (37%) and annoying ‘hold’ music (35%) the other top irritations.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director said:

“The Big Six energy companies have now hit rock bottom for customer service and, with record high levels of complaints, it is clear just how far they still have to go to put things right for their customers.

“Good companies know the value of customer service, so it’s disappointing that some of our biggest firms seem to have a lot to learn about keeping their customers happy. This survey should be a wake-up call for the companies with the lowest customer scores.”

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