Charter UK calls for reforms as energy regulator labels Big Six as 'frankly awful'.

Fri 26 Sep 2014

The Big 6 energy suppliers have been ordered to take steps to radically improve their customer service efforts, after Ofgem found that more than half of the 5 million customers who made complaints last year were unhappy with the way their complaints were handled.

Paul Clark, CEO of Charter UK, an Equiniti Group Company, said that Ofgem's unusual decision to openly attack the Big Six energy firms reveals the extent to which the sector is in need of change. "When compared to the progress made in complaints handling by the banking industry, which revealed falling complaint figures this week, the distinction between the two is stark. 

"In the banking industry, the FCA and the FOS work together to provide a network of safety measures that ensure consumers are always protected, having learnt the lessons of past mistakes such as the PPI scandal." 

Mr Clark went on to state how disappointing it is that although the energy sector has an Ombudsman service in place, and there have been numerous efforts to enforce regulations, energy firms are still trailing far behind other regulated industries. 

"The industry should focus on ways in which the Ombudsman and Ofgem can work together to overhaul the internal culture and strongly incentivise healthy complaint management practices," he insisted. 

"In order for the sector'sregulations to start being taken seriously and for the attitudes of these companies to change, the incentives and penalties that have moved the financial sector into the 'era of the customer' should be analysed, and used as a guide by the energy sector."