SSE is leading the energy industry when it comes to resolving customer complaints, according to data published by the Energy Ombudsman.
The data shows that during the first three months of 2015 the relative number of complaints accepted by the Ombudsman from SSE customers was the lowest among the UK’s 10 largest suppliers.
The Ombudsman provides a free dispute resolution service when agreement cannot be reached between a supplier and customer. In March, SSE announced an industry-leading pledge to advise customers of their right to take an unresolved complaint to the Ombudsman after six weeks instead of the standard eight weeks.
The Ombudsman received 4.16 complaints for every 100,000 SSE customers between January and March, against an industry average of 32.74. The 302 SSE complaints that were accepted by the Ombudsman amount to less than 2% of the industry total of 16,220.
Tony Keeling, SSE’s Director of Customer Service and Sales, said: “This reflects the great job that our customer service teams do every day, based on a genuine desire to help customers. At SSE we believe it is important to get things right first time and always strive to resolve concerns at the earliest possible opportunity. That is why, in a first for the energy industry, we now advise customers of their right to take their complaint to the Ombudsman after six weeks instead of the standard eight, and we would encourage other suppliers to follow our lead on this. At the same time we will continue to work hard to reduce the overall number of complaints we receive in the future.”
Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said: “The publishing of this data for the first time puts consumers in complete control of their energy provision, giving them greater transparency about the complaints that we receive about energy companies. Consumers’ expectations of complaint handling are getting higher and higher, driven by technology and a healthy scepticism about brands, so it’s great news that they’ll have this information at their fingertips. For the first time this means we can publish not only the numbers of complaints, but also by company name. Energy companies have already made great strides to better inform consumers and this will help ensure consumer grievances are addressed quickly.”
The suppliers whose data was analysed by the Ombudsman are the largest UK suppliers by total customer numbers. The data can be accessed on theOmbudsman Services website and will be published quarterly based on market share data from Ofgem.