Britain’s ‘worst’ energy supplier – and the company where customers are happiest
The gas and electricity giant received 9,000 complaints for every 100,000 customers on its books last year
Iresa Energy has been named Britain’s worst supplier for customer service after a record high in complaints last year.
The gas and electricity giant received the lowest satisfaction score ever recorded by a charity, with 9,000 complaints for every 100,000 customers.
This is five times higher that the next worst supplier, TOTO Energy, which sparked 1,800 disputes.
Citizens Advice, which carried out the report, said the firm came bottom of its energy star rating system.
The company scored just 0.35 stars out of a possible 5 for its customer service between January and March this year.
So Energy came top of the table, with a score of 4.8 stars, while SSE was the best performing of the largest six energy suppliers, scoring 4.25 stars out of 5.
Iresa has been unable to take on new customers since March due to a ban from the energy regulator Ofgem.
This intervention came after Citizens Advice referred the company for repeated customer service failings.
One Iresa customer contacted Citizens Advice after receiving a request for a one-off payment of £1,000. Another person was unable to contact Iresa to get their problem resolved for over three months.
Other companies near the bottom of the table include TOTO – recently criticised for transferring customers to another supplier without adequate communication – Robin Hood Energy and Avro.
The charity said it’s highlighting the poor performance of some smaller energy companies, arguing this demonstrates the need for Ofgem to tighten its licensing rules.
Citizens Advice believes it is currently too easy for firms to set themselves up as a new energy supplier.
Its figures found that some firms enter the market before they are prepared to deliver good quality customer service.
Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice’s chief, said: “Iresa’s low score will come as no surprise for its customers, who have had to put up with continued problems. These include inaccurate billing, long phone queues and even being blocked from switching to a new supplier.
“t’s vital now that Ofgem does more to protect consumers from poor customer service. The regulator’s upcoming review of licensing rules must do two things: make it easier to stop unprepared suppliers from entering the market, and take poorly performing companies out of the market faster.”
In a statement, Ofgem said it will continue to take action where suppliers fail to adequately support their customers.
“All suppliers must provide customers with good service, including acting quickly and effectively to sort things out wherever problems occur,” Rob Salter-Church, at Ofgem said.
“Where suppliers fail to do so, Ofgem will step in and take strong action.
“We have already imposed a provisional order on Iresa and have warned them that its licence could be revoked unless it puts its house in order.
We recently began a review of our approach to licensing suppliers to ensure that appropriate protections are in place against poor customer service and financial instability and will update on progress in late summer.”
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