How To Make a Complaint About Your Energy Supplier
We here at Money Pug aim to match you up with a company who will treat you right. We want to help you find an energy supplier which not only give you the best deal on your energy supply but also treat you with fairness and respect.
Most of the time, most of us do not think too much about our energy supply. But all that changes when things go wrong. While most of the time, things go smoothly, there are unfortunately instances when consumers are not happy. If you have a problem with your energy supplier, you may unfortunately sometimes have to make a complaint.
There may be many different reasons for your dissatisfaction or anger with the energy supplier you are dealing with. But the process for complaining is the same no matter what the issue or issues may be. First, you speak with your energy supplier. Then, you can try to get some independent advice. Thirdly and usually finally, you will take your complaint to the Energy Ombudsman. They are the ones with the power to arbitrate between you and the energy company you are dealing with, and the ones who can come up with a fair resolution to your complaint.
Money Pug is here to help you work through the problem. We’ll help you to deal with it when things go wrong. To help you, we’ve put together this guide to help you understand the process and procedure when you want to make a complaint about your energy supplier.
Speak With Your Energy Supplier
If you are annoyed with your energy supplier, then you may be inclined to go over their heads and take your complaint to a higher authority right away. But, like it or not, your first step when anything goes wrong should always be to contact your energy supplier directly to try to resolve the problem.
If your complaint is a simple one, it may be possible to resolve it with a phone call. When phoning your energy supplier to complain, be sure to:
- Write down your complaint, so you can tell the person on the phone clearly and concisely what is wrong.
- Make a note of the time and date of your call.
- Take the name of the person you speak with and details of what was said. Make a note of these things too, as you may need to refer to them later.
If your complain is more complex, it may be a good idea to follow up your phone call with a letter or an email as well. That way, you will have a written record of your interaction and there is far less room for misunderstanding. When writing to your energy supplier, be sure to:
- Include your account number and other details, to make it easier for them to deal with your complaint.
- Include a complaint or case reference number of you are following up on earlier communications.
- Try to find and send relevant paperwork along with your complaint. (Send photocopies or scans of anything relevant and keep the originals for your records.)
You could also consider sending your letter by recorded delivery so that there is proof of when the correspondence was sent and when it was received by the energy supplier.
Speak To Citizen’s Advice
Of course, in an ideal scenario, the energy company should be able to deal with your complaint. But we all know that we do not live in an ideal world. Sometimes, that just does not happen and you will still be left with an issue to resolve. If you are not getting anywhere with the energy supplier, you can get in touch with the charity, Citizens Advice.
First of all, check out the Citizens Advice ‘AdviceGuide’. This guide will tell you what rights you have and give you advice on what to do next. It has a specific section for energy supplier complaints and this may give you the ammunition you need to contact your supplier once more armed with some new information.
As a charity, Citizens Advice will only be able to handle your complaint on your behalf if you are deemed to be part of a vulnerable customer group, such as the elderly, low-income households or those with limiting or long-term illnesses.
You can contact Citizens Advice online, by writing to then at:
Citizens Advice Consumer Service,
PO Box 833,
Or by phoning 08454 04 05 06.
Contact The Energy Ombudsman
If you have had no joy through any other means, the only way to further your complaint and get a resolution is to contact the Energy Ombudsman. This is the body that actually has the power to uphold a complaint and can help you to get practical action, an apology or explanation, or financial compensation. They can step between you and your energy supplier to find some sort of resolution to the issue of your complaint.
You can go to the Energy Ombudsman if:
- You are with one of the big six energy suppliers – British Gas, EDF, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power or SSE and your complaint has not been resolved within 8 weeks.
- You are with a smaller energy supplier and your complaint has not been resolved in 12 weeks.
- If the energy supplier has communicated to you that the complaint is ‘deadlocked’.
The Energy Ombudsman can deal with a range of issues relating to:
- Energy bills.
- Issues resulting from an energy supplier’s sales activity.
- Issues resulting from switching your gas or electricity supply.
- Physical problems relating to power cuts/ connections.
- Micro-generation and feed-in tariffs.
The Energy ombudsman cannot help if:
- Your case is deemed to be malicious or unjustified.
- The complaint relates to choices an energy supplier has made about the prices it charges.
- Your complaint is about liquid petroleum gas (LPG).
- The case would better be dealt with by the courts or other complaints procedures.
- The energy supplier you deal with is not a participant in the scheme.
You can contact the energy supplier by going online to https://www.ombudsman-services.org.
You can also write to them at:
Ombudsman Services: Energy,
PO Box 966,
Or phone 0330 440 1624 or 01925 530263
Or email them at: [email protected].
The Energy Ombudsman is independent and impartial. They are separate from the energy industry, Ofgem, and any consumer groups and they will listen to both sides, look at all the facts, and reach a fair solution to the problem or problems.
If the ombudsman reaches a decision, the energy supplier must take the action that has been requested of it as long as you, the consumer, accept it. If you reject the decision or do not respond to it within 28 days, you can no longer take up the offer. However, you are still free to complain in other ways, such as through the courts.
Here at Money Pug, we hope that you will not need to complain about your energy supplier. But if you do, you should now have a much clearer idea of how to do so, and what the process will be.
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