Bristol Energy Quarterly Complaints Report 2018 Q4

Q1 2019: Complaints received 3744, Received per 100,000 customer accounts 2261, Complaints resolved 3745, Resolved per 100,000 customer accounts 2261, % resolved in the same or next working day 94%, % resolved within 8 weeks 99%.

Why did people complain to Bristol Energy in Q4 2018 and what are we doing about it?

Human Error – 6.2%

  • As we’ve grown Bristol Energy have hired new members of staff, whose relative inexperience in this complex industry has occasionally affected performance.
  • We have identified areas in which our training, quality monitoring and coaching methods require development, and have put in place measures to improve these processes. We are also implementing a new training strategy across the business to ensure that our high standards are being achieved consistently.

Estimated Readings – 5.1%

  • Estimated bills continue to cause dissatisfaction for some of our customers, although often these are a result of readings not being submitted or being submitted outside of a regular billing window. We are exploring ways of improving communication with our customers to prevent this, and installing smart meters which will result in higher numbers of accurate bills.
  • We have also been improving our billing processes to ensure that readings are always added to accounts in time, and we will shortly be launching an app to make it easier for our customers so submit readings. Bristol Energy have recently switched to Quarterly Billing, which means customers will be required to send us fewer readings each year.

Debt Collection Communication – 4.6%

  • No-one likes to be contacted by their energy supplier about a late payment or outstanding balance, but at Bristol Energy we believe this is preferable to allowing a large debit balance to build up unchecked. We have received complaints regarding this and have sought to address concerns as quickly and smoothly as possible.
  • We also acknowledge that debit balances can build up over the winter, and aim to treat customers who are struggling with bill payments in a fair and consistent way. Where possible we work with customers to assess the affordability of monthly payments, and offer payment plans to reduce debt balances. We also train our advisors to signpost debt charities to our customers where necessary.

Accurate Charges – 4.6%

  • Consumers are sometimes surprised at the cost of their energy usage, even as the weather gets warmer. For this reason Bristol Energy are committed to providing energy efficiency advice to every customer, helping to limit consumption and reduce monthly bills.
  • Some of our customers go for significant periods of time without providing meter readings. If a reading is eventually taken and is higher than expected, these customers can receive an unexpectedly large bill. We continue to remind our customers to supply regular readings to ensure they’re covering the cost of their energy consumption.

Billing Delays/Errors – 3.6%

  • A high proportion of the contact Bristol Energy receives via phone and email relates to bills, and some of this relates to suspected delays or errors. In over 75% of cases there hasn’t been any actual error or delay, but we take this issue seriously when something has gone wrong and aim to correct it quickly.
  • We are analysing contact trends around billing, and aim to make improvements to reduce confusion and dissatisfaction. Bristol Energy have also switched to Quarterly Billing in recent months, which we expect to provide a clearer picture of energy consumption for our customers while reducing contact and complaints.

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