Extra Energy bottom in customer service league

Supplier claims it has a “plan in place” and already seeing significant improvements

Extra Energy has insisted it is making “unprecedented investments” after the supplier came bottom in Citizens Advice’s customer service league table for the second time running.

The latest set of ratings by the consumer group show the supplier received a rating 2.05 stars for January to March this year, which is lower than the 2.5 stars it received for the period between October and December 2016, when it was also at the bottom of the league table.

Suppliers are awarded a score out of five stars based on a combination of factors, including how complaints are dealt with, and how highly customers rate the supplier’s customer service.

On the complaints handling measure, Extra Energy delivered the worst score recorded by Citizens Advice – 1,916 per 100,000 customers – for the first three months of this year.

The supplier’s managing director of operations, Ben Jones, said it has “always been honest and transparent about the growing pains” the company has experienced.

“But we’ve also always been clear that we are making unprecedented investments to overcome these issues for good,” added Jones.

“We won’t accept a short-term fix, and making major changes to our business to address such challenges takes time. We have a plan in place and we’re seeing significant improvements, particularly around switching,” he added.

“We want to make the market work better for consumers, and we’re continuing to work incredibly hard to ensure we can deliver excellent service for our customers as well as competitive tariffs.”

The green energy supplier Ecotricity came top of the customer service table with an average score of 4.4.

“For a long time, we’ve heard that people wanted to compare energy businesses on more than just price,” Ecotricity founder, Dale Vince.

“To them, greenness and customer service are really important factors in their decision making process.  You will see greenness and customer service going hand-in-hand, as both are the result of an approach that’s driven by ethics, not the bottom line.” 

The chief executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, said it is “important that all energy companies are constantly trying to improve”.

“This must include sending out accurate timely bills, having the right number of staff to answer phone calls quickly, and having the right processes to deal with complaints quickly and effectively,” she added.