Billing still most common energy customer complaint according to CRU report
Most complex complaints from energy customers were in regards to billing.
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has today published its annual Customer Care Team Report which outlines the level and type of complaints/contacts made by customers to the CRU in 2017.
Complaints about energy suppliers steadies
Figures published in the latest report show that in 2017 there were 232 complex complaints made to the CRU Customer Care Team regarding energy, the same as the previous year.
The CRU report said factors that may have had an impact on the static complaints figures include improved customer service from providers and decreased disconnections for non-payment of accounts.
However, the report also said that the two rounds of price rises seen so far this year, may lead to an increase in complaints in the report for 2018. Of the suppliers who have hiked their prices so far this year, the rising cost of wholesale energy was highlighted as the main reason for increasing prices.
Billing complaints on the decrease, but still worryingly high
In 2017 the most common complex complaints from customers to the CRU came about due to billing issues. For electricity this accounted for 58% of complaints and for gas 69% of complaints.
Although this is a decrease from the previous year (64% for electricity and 72% for gas in 2016), the fact that in 2017 over half of all complex energy complaints for both gas and electricity still relate directly to billing is worrying.
These billing complaints include issues such as errors on bills, disconnections, and large catch-up bills likely due to estimated meter readings.
What is the CRU and how can I complain about my energy supplier?
The CRU’s (previously the Commission for Energy Regulation) purpose is to regulate water, energy and energy safety in Ireland.
In relation to energy, the CRU aims to ensure that both electricity and gas sources are available and that the prices charged are fair and reasonable. It also aims to make sure that electricity and gas is supplied in a safe way, and doesn’t harm the environment.
In addition, the CRU looks to promote competition and switching in the energy sector and is responsible for licensing electricity and natural gas suppliers.
Consumers can contact the CRU with any complaints they may have in regards to their energy supplier if they have already contacted their supplier directly and a resolution has not been achieved. In this case the CRU Customer Care Team can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone on 1890 404 404, or by letter at The Customer Care Team, P.O. Box 11934, Dublin 24.
Can I switch if I’m not happy with my supplier or think I’m paying too much?
If you are haven’t switched supplier in the last 12 months and are outside of the minimum term of your contract then you are free to switch at any time and could save up to €289. If you have recently switched and are still inside the minimum term of your contract, you can still switch but it is likely that you will be need to pay an early exit fee to do so.
Switching only takes a few minutes and is very straightforward so it’s worth running a comparison on Switcher.ie to find out what deals are available and how much you could save.
If you have already switched in the last 12 months but want to try and reduce the size of your bill even further there are some handy energy-saving measures you can implement around the home to do just that.
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