Quarterly Complaints Report 2017 Q3
Why did people complain to Bristol Energy in Q3 2017 and what are we doing about it?
Estimated Readings – 6.83%
• While Bristol Energy provides a variety of ways for customers to submit meter readings, we’ve realised that it’s not always clear how and when to do so. This has resulted in customers being disappointed upon receiving estimated bills.
• We will shortly be issuing new advice and information regarding meter reading submission, which will ensure that our customers have the necessary knowledge of how to send us meter readings for use on their bills.
Read Dispute (Gain) – 6.74%
• Bristol Energy have received a significant number of complaints regarding Read Disputes over the last three months, primarily regarding timescales and lack of communication.
• We have identified the need to work on our escalation processes with other suppliers in order to bring down Read Dispute timescales, and to increase our limited visibility of how we are performing in this area. Over the last quarter we have introduced a robust escalation process and closed a large number of open disputes. Only 0.27% of our customers now have an open Read Dispute on their account, and we aim to ensure that there are no disputes older than 28 days by the end of this financial year.
• We are in the early stages of introducing a solution which will provide regular updates to customers going through a Read Dispute, as well as adding a new layer of automation to the process. This won’t be introduced within the next quarter, but will eventually allow swifter resolution for the majority of Read Disputes as well as keeping customers in the loop.
Mis-advice – 5.32%
• Bristol Energy’s rapid growth has resulted in us recruiting a large number of new colleagues to work in our Bristol office. Many of our new colleagues come from outside the energy industry, and have had to learn quickly about the complex processes and policies involved in supplying energy to people’s homes. Our processes and policies have also been evolving in order to provide the best possible service for our customers, which means there is also a lot to learn for our more experienced colleagues. These two issues have resulted in instances where incorrect advice has been given to customers, resulting in complaints.
• Having already identified this as a risk – particularly within a young and growing business – Bristol Energy have improved training and feedback for all employees across the company. This has led to a 33% reduction in complaints regarding service matters such as mis-advice, and we intend to continue working hard to improve the knowledge and expertise of all our colleagues.
Final bill delay/error – 4.70%
• Throughout 2017 Bristol Energy experienced issues which delayed some final bills. These related to the need to manually produce some bills, and delays in receiving closing readings from incoming suppliers. We have recently been working hard to reduce the number of outstanding bills, which has resulted in some customers raising complaints upon receiving their delayed bills. Some of these were larger than expected, which also resulted in some complaints being received.
• We are in the early stages of changing our final billing process, to allow us to produce bills within 4 weeks of a customer switching away. Our aim is to reduce the average wait for a final bill significantly; rather than having to wait 4 weeks, we want our customers to receive their bill within a few days of switching.
Agent error – 4.43%
• Human error has been a significant factor in a number of complaints this quarter, which is again related to our recent growth and extra recruitment. The energy industry involves many complex processes, and unfortunately, the relative inexperience of some of our colleagues has led to avoidable errors.
• Bristol Energy identified this risk earlier in the year, and have been working hard to increase the levels of expertise in every department. Our training programmes are being improved, and coaching is being rolled out to current members of staff in a variety of areas. Errors are now being reported and logged, and the data from this is used to give feedback to our colleagues and identify training requirements.