Quarterly Complaints Report 2017 Q1

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Quarterly Complaints report 2017 Q1

Why did people complain to Bristol Energy in Q1 2017 and what are we doing about it?


Call Waiting Times – 8.7% of complaints

  • Bristol Energy have experienced a rapid increase in customer numbers, and unfortunately we did not recruit customer-facing staff quickly enough to continue providing the best possible level of service. This was compounded by an increase in contact over the winter period via phone, email and letter, which stretched our resources and resulted in longer call waiting times.
  • We have recognised this as an important issue for our customers, and responded in several ways. Most importantly, we have increased recruitment within our Customer Care team and made use of a high-quality third party call centre also based in Bristol. We have also reorganised how contact is allocated to different teams internally, to ensure that customers are helped by the appropriate team.


Read Dispute (Incoming Supply) – 8.3% of complaints

  • Read Disputes have continued to cause complaints for Bristol Energy, which is a result of several factors. Our processes have not been as streamlined as we would have liked, and a number of opening meter readings haven’t been processed quickly enough, resulting in estimated readings. We have also on occasion failed to manage our customers’ expectations with regards to normal industry timescales for Read Disputes, resulting in concern and disappointment which could have been avoided.
  •  Our Read Dispute processes have now been improved, allowing a significant reduction in the average timescales involved. All opening readings are now being processed within 24 hours of them being received, leading to 70% of our accounts now opening to actual readings. Further improvements to our gas Read Dispute processes are planned in the next quarter, and we will be reviewing our communication with customers during Read Disputes.


Estimated Readings – 5.2% of complaints

  • Bristol Energy’s processes for converting meter readings received from customers into accurate bills could have been more efficient over the first three months of 2017. A delay in loading some readings to our systems has also resulted in estimated readings being used on statements.
  • Bristol Energy have devoted a lot of effort to improvements in this area, and as a result we are now processing all readings within 24 hours. We are working on improving the efficiency of our automated systems to make sure fewer meter readings need to be added to accounts manually.


Erroneous Transfer / Incorrect Supply – 4.6% of complaints

  • While all suppliers occasionally take over an incorrect gas or electricity supply (as a result of the automated processes and third party databases used within the energy industry), we accept that our Erroneous Transfer processes for correcting this issue are too lengthy and complex. There have also been training issues within our new and growing teams, which have resulted in disappointment and frustration for a small number of our customers.
  • We are analysing the causes of incorrect supplies being taken over in order to avoid this wherever possible in the future. We are also working on our internal Erroneous Transfer processes, and reviewing our communication to make sure customers affected by this issue are contacted at agreed intervals.


Opening reading not used – 4.3% of complaints

  • Bristol Energy’s meter reading processes have been improved considerably over the last few months, but a backlog of readings caused a delay in opening readings being processed. This has been compounded by our quickly growing customer numbers, which unfortunately has caused concern for some of our customers whose opening readings were not used on their statements.
  • Bristol Energy no longer have a backlog of meter readings, and all readings are now being processed within 24 hours. As a result, 70% of accounts are being opened to actual meter readings. We will be reviewing the number of customers sending us opening readings to ensure that we are using as many of these as possible in the future.

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