Reading-based One Select has come bottom in the latest Citizens Advice star rating table ranking the customer service of energy suppliers.
The ratings, which look at a range of measures including complaints levels, call waiting times, the timeliness and accuracy of billing and whether switches take place on time, have been released today (8 December).
Topping the list for the fourth consecutive quarter was So Energy with a rating of 4.7 out of five stars.
One Select, which entered the market last year and serves around 35,000 households, underperformed in all categories and gained a score of 1.3 stars – lower than Spark Energy which recently ceased trading, with Ovo Energy since having acquired its operating company.
According to Citizens Advice customers reported problems contacting One Select by phone between July and September. The consumer body for energy also revealed that only around two-thirds of customers received a bill based on a meter reading over the past year.
The Energy Ombudsman said it has accepted for investigation a total of 94 complaints about the supplier so far this year.
Matthew Vickers, chief executive and chief ombudsman at the Energy Ombudsman, said: “Choosing an energy supplier shouldn’t just be about price.
“We think consumers should use online reviews and tools such as the Citizens Advice star rating to get an idea of a supplier’s record on customer service, so they can make an informed decision.
“For energy suppliers, it’s increasingly clear that customer service is the key battleground in the fight to win and retain customers.”
In October the Dutch sister company of One Select had its energy licence revoked by The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM).
The Dutch ACM announced on 15 October it had established that the supplier was no longer able to “comply with the requirements of its energy licence”.
At the other end of the table, SSE ranked second with 4.4 stars and is the highest placed of the big six suppliers.
Gareth Wood, customer service operations director at SSE, said the company was proud of the progress it has made.
He said: “At SSE we’re passionate about looking after our customers’ welfare and work hard to provide them with the best service possible.
“We have a very strong track record on service and are proud of the progress we’ve made to be ranked first of the large energy suppliers and second out of 34 suppliers for customer service.
“But we know we can always do better and our teams constantly look for ways we can help our customers and improve the service we offer them.”
Citizens Advice also noted that Octopus Energy performed well, maintaining a score of 4.3 stars despite taking on around 90,000 customers from failed supplier Iresa during the quarter.
Bulb Energy and British Gas completed the top five with 4.2 and 4.15 stars respectively.
Eon meanwhile was the lowest ranking of the big six and slipped from 18th to 20th place with a ranking of 2.9 out of five stars.
An Eon spokesperson said: “We’re sorry that some of our customers might not have received the high levels of service we strive to offer.
“Helping customers as effectively as we can is important to us and we’ve recently taken a number of steps to help deliver improvements in this area and these are already beginning to have a positive impact.”
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “The forthcoming price cap is going to make a real difference to consumers but it is certainly not the end of the story.
“It is still important to shop around for the best deals, but also to think about where you’ll get good customer service.
“These ratings show that consumers can’t afford to make assumptions about the quality of service from an energy supplier based on their size or the strength of their brand.”
One Select had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.
|Supplier||Star rating July to September 2018|
|E (Gas and Electricity)||4.1|
|Green Network Energy||3.55|
|Robin Hood Energy||2.35|
|Green Star Energy||2.3|
|Outfox the Market||2.25|