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 third quarter of 2016 (1st July to 30th September 2016)

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 doing

Our top five complaints

How we're doing

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

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%
Q2 2016 225,236
1,574
227,489
1,590
51.8%
90.3%
Q3 2016 214,558 1,518 213,095 1,507 53.9% 90.6%

How we're performing

Top five complaint reasons and plans to address

Top five complaint reasons

As a percentage of the total complaints received Q3
2015
Q4
2015
Q1
2016
Q2
2016
Q3
2016
Payments 23% 23% 26% 25% 24%
Billing
20% 17% 17% 20% 18%
Customer Service 15% 14% 14% 12% 13%
Metering
11% 14% 13% 11% 12%
Communication
7% 7% 7%
7%
8%

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 reviewed more than two million payment plans this quarter to make sure our customers are on track to have paid the correct amount by the end of their payment plan year.
  • We’ve continued contacting some customers with a higher than expected increase to their monthly instalments to perform a health check on their account.
  • We’ve written a clearer payment plan letter which explains why some customers’ payments are changing.


What we’re doing:

  • We’re looking at ways to help us get more accurate Direct Debit amounts when setting up customer payment schemes.
  • We’re reviewing all of the letters we send to customers about their payment plans to make them simpler to understand.

Billing

We’re always looking at the reasons why our customers complain about billing issues, so we can figure out how to fix them. 

What we’ve done:

  • We’ve made improvements so we bill as many customers as possible with accurate meter readings and have improved the quality of our smart meter bills.
  • We’ve improved the process when customers text in their meter readings so they receive an accurate bill.


What we’re doing:

  • We’re undertaking a trial to test a simpler customer bill.
  • We’re starting a programme to transform our billing processes and the experience for our smart meter customers. 

Customer Service

Focusing on initiatives to ensure we get things right for our customers first time continues to be a priority for us.

What we’ve done:

  • We’ve extended our trial to test a new way of working to make sure the right people, with the right knowledge deal with our complaints, so we can fix things for our customers as quickly as possible.
  • We’ve continued to ask our customers who’ve complained, for feedback on how we’ve handled things so we can identify where we need to make further improvements.

What we’re doing:

  • We know that our customers need us more during the winter months so we’re planning ahead to ensure that we’re there for them when they need us most.
  • We’re looking at ways to help our managers have more effective conversations with their teams so we can get things right for customers first time every time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Metering

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

What we’ve done:

  • We’re trialling new ways of contacting our customers to reduce the time it takes to resolve their complaint.
  • We’re contacting customers who’ve had a poor experience with their smart meter to help improve their understanding of smart meters and how they can benefit from them.
  • We’re ensuring that our Customer Service Advisers who support our smart pre-payment meter customers have the right training and knowledge to respond to any queries they may have.

What we’re doing:

  • We’re continuing to review our rescheduling processes and improving the way we help customers whose appointment we need to amend.
  • We’re working hard to speed up how long payments take to reach a customer’s pre-payment smart meter when the automatic process hasn’t worked.

Communication

Communicating well with our customers is really important to us and we’re working hard to make sure we get things right.

What we’ve done:

  • We’ve been testing new technology and innovative ways to get in touch with our customers in order to resolve their complaints. We’ve seen some positive results so we’ve extended these trials, and are continuing to monitor the results.
  • We offer lots of ways for customers to get in touch with us including web chat, so they can choose a way that suits them best.


What we’re doing:

  • We’re always looking at further ways we can improve the correspondence and bills we issue as we want to make sure they’re clear and easy to understand.
  • We’re working to improve the experience customers have when they visit our website.
  • We’re reviewing how we receive and respond to emails from customers to improve this process.  

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 2015 to 30th September 2016 this figure was 431,904.

[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%

Q1 2016

269,061 1,866 265,360 1,840 56.5% 91.4%
 Q2 2016 225,236 1,574 227,489 1,590 51.8% 90.3%