How to complain about your energy supplier
This step-by-step guide explains the process of making a complaint to your gas and electricity supplier in Ireland. Here’s what to do if you’re not happy with any aspect of your energy plan, billing or service.
Making a complaint
For any product you buy or service you sign up to, it’s important you’re aware of what to do if something goes wrong and you need to complain.
If you have a complaint about your energy supplier or the service you’re receiving, in the first instance you should:
- Raise your complaint directly with them
- Exhaust their complaints process
Details of how to complain can usually be found on the supplier’s website, within their Terms & Conditions or Code of Conduct.
The following three steps explain how the complaint process works.
1: Raise a complaint with the energy supplier
The first thing to do if you have an issue with your supplier is contact them to discuss it. You can do so by phone, email, post, or via their online help centres.
When you contact your supplier, outline your complaint clearly, and be sure to include your contact details so they can update you on the status of your complaint.
Your supplier’s Code of Conduct will outline the timelines within which they aim to respond to complaints, but if it’s unclear, ask them to clarify.
As a guide, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) says that generally suppliers will acknowledge and resolve customer complaints within a few days, and consumers should have a final answer within two months.
This timeframe may be extended for technical reasons, or if the supplier states you are not engaging with their process. If it is extended for any reason the supplier has to let you know what the new timeline is.
2: Seek advice from Citizens Information
The vast majority of complaints are explained or rectified fairly quickly by suppliers. However, for a variety of reasons, there will always be exceptions to this.
If you’re not happy with how your complaint has been dealt with, one of the things you can do is to seek advice from Citizens Information.
How Citizens Information can help
When you contact them, you should outline the problems you’ve experienced and what steps you have already taken, for example, the complaints process you’ve gone through with your supplier.
Citizens Information will give you advice about how to proceed, which may include contacting the energy company again to escalate the complaint.
You’ll also be given a reference number from Citizens Information which you can include in further communications with them, to help them locate your details quickly.
How to contact Citizens Information
You can reach Citizens Information by:
- phone on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, from 9am to 8pm)
- visiting your local Citizens Information centre
- contacting them by post or via their website.
3: Raise a complaint about your energy supplier with the CRU
If you don’t get the resolution you’re looking for after exhausting the complaints process with your supplier and taking advice from Citizens Information, you could look at raising the complaint with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).
What does the CRU do?
The CRU protects the interests of customers by making sure that standards of services are set and codes of practices are in place.
It has the power to direct energy suppliers and network operators to award financial compensation to customers or to resolve complaints, according to set guidelines, if the complaint is upheld.
The CRU can only investigate your complaint if you’ve already contacted your supplier or network operator about the issue and gone through the complaints process with them.
How to escalate a complaint with the CRU
If you’re at a stage where you’re ready to speak to the CRU, take a look at their guide on escalating a complaint and follow the steps they outline.
They will investigate the matter and come back to you with a decision. If you’re not happy with their decision, you can appeal it.
How to contact the CRU
You can contact the CRU by:
- phone on 1890 404 404
- email on email@example.com
- post at Commission for Regulation of Utilities, P.O. Box 11934, Dublin 24
Should you switch supplier if your complaint isn’t resolved?
While the majority of complaints are resolved by suppliers, occasionally there may be a complaint that can’t be resolved.
If this is the case for you, and you’re unable to move forward, it’s worth seeing if you can move to a supplier that can rectify it for you. Check for any early exit fees you may be charged though.
Switching energy supplier is quick and easy, and if you haven’t switched in over a year, you could save up to €475.
Switch and save up to €475 on your energy bills
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