New figures show that the UK gas and electricity provider Npower receives more complaints than any of the other Big Six energy providers. The firm, which is owned by the German company RWE, received at least three times the number of complaints than its rivals such as British Gas, Scottish Power and EDF.
The data comes from the Citizens Advice Bureau and shows than between October and December of 2013, Npower received a staggering 306 complaints for every 100,000 customers that the company serves. The second worst performing supplier in the United Kingdom was Scottish Power which received a third of the complaints — 100 for every 100,000 customers.
This is the latest in a long line of negative news for Npower. The company was slammed by both the press and members of the public when it imposed price hikes of over 10% last October. Some people accused them of exploiting the well-being of their customers at a time when they would be most at risk.
The most popular complaint made to Npower was regarding the company’s new billing system which has sometimes provided incorrect prices to the supplier’s customers. It has caused the percentage of complaints to soar by 300% compared to this time last year.
The chief executive at Citizen’s Advice, Gillian Guy, said:
Things are getting worse not better for Npower customers. It is unacceptable that Npower has not yet sorted out the serious failings in its billing systems and customer service which are causing so many complaints and serious problems for its customers.
For well over a year now some Npower customers have been finding their finances thrown into chaos. Some are not receiving bills and others are ending up in debt because their direct debit was cancelled. Citizens Advice has asked Npower to make sure people affected get any appropriate compensation.
Time and time again energy suppliers are letting customers down. People will not feel able to trust energy suppliers again if firms cannot get their house in order and deliver decent customer service.
The director of domestic retail business for Npower, Roger Hattman, promised that the supplier is working the tackle the customer service problems. He said:
We wrote to all our customers during this period last year apologising for the impact on them of issues we have had with the implementation of our new billing system. We are making good progress in dealing with the root causes of this, but remain totally committed to resolving any problems this has created for our customers.