Co-operative Energy has addressed customers’ concerns over delayed energy switches, issues accessing online accounts and inaccurate bills after it migrated to a new customer service and billing energy system in March, which originally aimed to deliver a “a faster, more open and more honest energy service”.
Co-operative Energy received the highest proportion of energy consumer complaints in the three months to September 2015, according to figures released by the Energy Ombudsman in early November.
The Ombudsman, which is funded by energy firms, stated that it received 136 complaints per 100,000 Co-operative Energy customers in the third quarter of the year. Scottish Power was next, with 89 complaints per 100,000 customers, and Npower third with 71 complaints per 100,000.
A total of 13,212 complaints were received by the Ombudsman in this period – slightly lower than the previous quarter’s total of 13,490 – with the most common complaints focusing on disputed charges, inaccurate invoices and missing bills.
“The data issued by the Ombudsman this week relates to July, August and September 2015, when we were experiencing the peak of the issues that were created as a result of introducing a new IT system earlier in the year,” said Co-operative Energy’s Pete Westall in a statement to Co-operative News. “These issues have been well-documented, and we have been open and honest with our customers and members about our efforts to address them.
“Since we last spoke to Co-operative News back in August, we have recruited and trained over 100 new colleagues. This has resulted in significant improvements in all our customer service measures, including the halving of our call response times over the last six weeks. We will continue to make further improvements to ensure our customers receive the high level of service they expect and deserve.
“We’d like to thank our members and the co-operative movement for their continued support during this period.”
Co-operative Energy, which produces 68% of its energy from renewable sources and is the only supplier in Europe to enable customers to choose where their energy comes from, supplies around 240,000 customers across England, Scotland and Wales. It was set up by Midcounties Co-operative in 2011. Earlier in 2015, the provider won the EU Sustainable Energy Europe Awards for empowering customers through its User Chooser initiative.
“As a co-operative, the best interests of our customer will always be at the centre of everything we do,” says a statement on the Co-operative Energy website. “The last four years have been exciting and challenging for us as we strive to create a real alternative in the energy industry. Today, our goal of being focused on creating an energy supplier that is owned by its customers and responsive to their needs remain as strong as it did at our beginning.”
- If any News readers have questions regarding their account with Co-operative Energy, they can contact [email protected].