We take every complaint seriously because we want to give you excellent service.

So we’re working hard to understand where we are going wrong and resolve the issues driving complaints.

Our latest report is for the first quarter of 2016 (Q1 2016)

That covers 1st January through to 31st March. The complaints we’ve included for that time are from our residential customers, as well as the customers we have through our partnership brand Sainsbury’s Energy.[1]


What you’ll find here

How we’re looking

Our top five complaints

How we're looking

Reporting period Complaints
received

Received per
100k customer accounts

Complaints
resolved

Resolved per
100k customer accounts

% resolved
same or next working day

% resolved
within 8 weeks

Q1 2015 446,766
3,051
439,796
3,003
75.1%
94.5%
Q2 2015 367,926
2,507
369,552
2,519
70.4%
92.8%
Q3 2015
313,290
2,141
311,265
2,127
67.8%
91.9%
Q4 2015 250,751
1,714
251,630
1,720
57.2% 90.9%
Q1 2016 269,061 1,866 265,360 1,840 56.5% 91.4%

How we're performing

Top five complaint reasons and plans to address

Top five complaint reasons

As a percentage of the total complaints received Q1 2015 Q2 2015 Q3 2015 Q4 2015
Q1 2016
Payments 23% 23% 23% 23% 26%
Billing
24% 25% 20% 17% 17%
Customer Service 16% 14% 15% 14% 14%
Metering
10% 9% 11% 14% 13%
Communication
8% 7% 7%
7%
7%

Payments

Lots of things affect how many complaints we get about payments like: seasonality, tariff changes, and how we explain payment plans. So we’re doing everything we can to make things simpler.

What we’ve done:

  • We’ve written a clearer payment plan letter which explains why our customers’ payments are changing.
  • We’ve given the people who speak to our customers day-to-day more information on how our payment schemes work. That way our customers have the help they need when they’re talking about their accounts with us.


What we’re doing:

  • We go over more than two million payment plans each quarter to make sure our customers are paying the right amount for the energy they’re using.

Billing

We’re always working on understanding why our customers complain about billing issues, so we can figure out how to fix them. 

What we’ve done:

  • We’ve made a change to our bill to include any customer meter reading provided, even when it’s outside of the billing period. 
  • We’ve made improvements to our smart customer experience, to proactively identify and resolve non-reading smart meters before our customers contact us. This includes sending letters to our customers or replacing the meter.


What we’re doing:

  • We’re exploring more improvements to our bills to further simplify the look and feel of them. 
  • We’re reviewing some of our billing processes to make sure that the bills we send are accurate. 

Customer Service

In April last year we announced a £50m investment in our customer service to keep making it better and better.

What we’ve done:

  • We’re asking our customers who’ve complained, for feedback so we can improve how we handle complaints.
  • We’re going over cases that have been open longer than we would like. We want to find out why it’s happening and fix it for the customer as quickly as possible.


What we’re doing:

  • We’ve started a training programme with our people to support them in having more effective conversations with our customers so we can identify any problems and put them right as soon as possible.
  • We’re testing a new way of working to make sure the right people deal with the right complaints. So we can fix our customers’ problems quicker.

Metering

We always do our best to fix problems to do with our meters.

What we’ve done:

  • If we’ve let a customer down with a meter appointment, we’ve worked out a process so we can get them a new appointment as soon as possible. 
  • We’ve helped our customers who we’ve let down and used their feedback to improve what we’re doing now. 
  • We’ve set up specific teams to help our customers who we couldn’t fit a meter for on our first visit because there were technical problems.


What we’re doing:

  • We’re working to improve the experience for our customers when they have a new meter installed.
  • We’re looking over our processes and improving the way we help customers whose appointment we need to reschedule.

Communication

Communicating effectively with our customers is important to us.

What we’ve done:

  • We’ve made a change which means that if they want to, more customers can top up their pre-payment meter using our automated service without having to speak to one of our team.
  • We’re looking over all the correspondence we send our customers to make sure it’s simple and clear.
  • We get in touch with our customers in the way they’ve asked us to. They can choose from lots of different options, including our website and via webchat. 


What we’re doing:

  • We’re testing new ways of getting in touch with customers who have complaints where we need to speak to them so we can resolve their issue as quickly as possible.
  • We’re working to improve the experience customers have with their bills when using our online service.

Annual Consumer Complaint Report

View our Annual Consumer Complaint Report, which details how we’ve performed in relation to the number of complaints we weren’t able to resolve on the same, or next working day.

For the reporting period 1st October 2014 to 30th September 2015 this figure was 417,580.

[1] Sainsbury's Energy is supplied in partnership with British Gas (part of British Gas Trading Limited).

Complaints
received

Received per
100k customer accounts

Complaints
resolved

Resolved per
100k customer accounts

% resolved
same or next working day

% resolved
within 8 weeks

Q1 2012 437,124 2,778 435,779 2,770 79.4% 95.7%
Q2 2012 352,882 2,249 356,262 2,271 78.3% 96.5%
Q3 2012 323,191 2,064 322,869 2,062 79.0% 95.3%
Q4 2012
355,998 2,285 359,494 2,308 79.2% 96.3%
Q1 2013 357,887 2,295 354,456 2,273 78.7% 95.9%
Q2 2013 264,928 1,696 264,186 1,691 72.1% 93.9%
Q3 2013 247,000 1,582 244,819 1,568 71.6% 93.8%
Q4 2013 365,735 2,412 363, 511 2,397 75.9% 96.3%
Q1 2014 462,334 3,084 461,421 3,078 79.5% 96.2%
Q2 2014 426,517 2,844 428,992 2,860
78.4% 95.6%
Q3 2014 405,556 2,725 403,809 2,713 77.3% 94.3%
Q4 2014 419,999 2,851 422,609 2,869 75.3% 94.0%
Q1 2015 446,766 3,051 439,796 3,003 75.1% 94.5%
Q2 2015 367,926 2,507 369,552 2,519 70.4% 92.8%
Q3 2015 313,290 2,141
311,265 2,127
67.8%
91.9%
Q4 2015
250,751 1,714 251,630 1,720 57.2% 90.9%