Inaccurate Energy Bills Causes Homeowners ‘Immense Stress’

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Catherine Tilke

Money Savings Advice Energy Costs Cause Stress

CITIZENS ADVICE HAS SAID the UK's worst energy suppliers are five times more likely to send customers an inaccurate bill than the country's best suppliers.

Inaccurate billing causes' immense stress' and is stretching customers' already-strained finance, the organisation claims, with poor customer service compounding the problem for thousands of homeowners.

In a statement released on Friday, the independent advisory body described the difference in customer service offered by Britain's best and worst suppliers as a 'chasm' and accused the worst suppliers of being 'in a race to the bottom'.

It found that at least 15% of the bills issued by the UK's worst five suppliers are inaccurate.

Meanwhile, the top five suppliers issued erroneous bills to less than 3% of their customers.

Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Dame Clare Moriarty said:

Providing an accurate energy bill is the most basic aspect of customer service that a supplier can offer, and yet many are failing to do this.

All companies have a responsibility to deliver the best possible service to their customers, and it's disappointing to see such a wide chasm between those who are taking this seriously and those who are not.

When customers with billing errors are unable to contact their supplier for help, it can cause immense stress. These problems are even worse for those who are already worried about money. So it's vital that suppliers fix these issues and provide support for those most at risk of debt.

Besides inaccurate billing, customers with the worst suppliers were found to face poor customer service when trying to resolve their issues.

On average, only 35% of the worst energy suppliers replied to customers' queries within two working days, compared to more than 86% for the best suppliers.

For customers trying to resolve issues over the phone, people with the worst suppliers also wait longer to be connected- an average of six minutes, compared to one minute and forty seconds for those with the best suppliers.

Among the worst-ranked providers were Utilita, Ecotricity, Symbio, People's Energy and Orbit.

On the other hand, Igloo, Outfox the Market, M & S Energy, E, and Octopus were placed at the top of the organisation's list.

Citizens Advice ranked suppliers from best to worst using star ratings, awarded based on enquiries received by Citizens Advice, as well as data from the Energy Ombudsman, Extra Help Unit and information on providers' billing, customer service and switching data.

A spokesperson from Energy UK, which represents energy suppliers, said:

Energy suppliers produce millions of energy bills each year, and in the rare cases where errors are made, they need to be fixed quickly.

Money Savings Advice Author Catherine Tilke

Catherine Tilke

Catherine is our specialist financial news journalist. With over 7 years of experience and a raft of contacts in the financial world, she prides herself on delivering the most relevant and up-to-date financial news for our readers.

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