Energy switching – why customer service matters
Attention-grabbing low tariffs can be a good deal, but look deeper than the headline price when shopping around for the best energy deals
Just because you’re ready to switch and are eager to find the best value-for-money deal on the market, doesn’t mean you should jump in feet first. Instead, do a little bit of research beforehand to see which suppliers are most highly rated by their customers.
Finding a better tariff that’ll help save you money is of course priority number one, but in the long run, you’ll appreciate the time you took to find a supplier who cares a great deal for each individual account.
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If you don’t, you could end up dealing with a supplier which provides late or inaccurate bills, doesn’t connect you when they say you will, or which has metering issues, such as registering the incorrect numbers to your property.
Failing to explore suppliers’ customer service ratings could have you dealing with late or inaccurate bills, metering issues, and just generally poor attention-to-detail. Citizens advice has a brilliant 3-monthly rating of energy suppliers, allowing you to see the areas at which individuals suppliers accelerate in, making your decision much easier.
Look beyond price
As people put price first and move to cheaper tariffs with lesser-known names, poor customer service could come as a sacrifice. Out of 40 suppliers compared on the Citizens Advice table, four of the Big Six are in the top 10, with EDF and SSE holding top 5 places.
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The smaller companies who mean well and genuinely want to offer lower, more affordable prices haven’t the capacity to deal with customers as swiftly as they would hope, which unfortunately appears to reflect on their customer service ratings.
“Ofgem has recently proposed new regulations for new and existing suppliers. These should be put into effect as soon as possible.
“We’d like to see Ofgem making basic customer service such as accurate billing a top priority, and step in sooner when energy companies don’t meet decent standards of customer service.”
If you’re switching suppliers through a comparison site, use one which shows a service rating in their tables, so you can save money on your energy and have peace of mind that your new supplier will treat you well and offer good customer service.
Make sure you check your current tariff’s end date too, as if you move to a new deal before it finishes you may have to pay a cancellation fee.