Quarterly Complaints Report 2017 Q4

Why did people complain to Bristol Energy in Q3 2017 and what are we doing about it?


Mis-advice – 6.4%

  • As we’ve grown Bristol Energy have been hiring 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 improvement, and will be concentrating on these in 2018.


Estimated Readings – 4.9%

  • 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 avoid this, and installing smart meters which will result in accurate bills.
  • Some readings submitted over weekends and bank holidays weren’t processed in time for inclusion in bills as they had to be added manually. We are improving our billing system to ensure that readings are always added to customers’ accounts in time for their bill.


Direct Debit Review – 4.5%

  • Bristol Energy regularly review Direct Debits to ensure that payments are being made which cover the cost of energy consumption. Although these reviews are mostly made to decrease payments, some customers who were advised that their payments need to be increased have been unhappy with our proposed changes.
  • We believe that our Direct Debit Review process is fair and transparent, and that it is the best way to ensure our customers do not fall behind with their payments. However, in 2018 we will be reviewing our processes to ensure we manage seasonal changes in payments correctly.


Opening Readings Not Used – 4.0%

  • As Bristol Energy grows and welcomes new customers, we continue to receive queries regarding opening readings. All opening readings are validated externally prior to being included in an initial bill, and when these readings fail validation they are replaced by estimated readings. This can cause disappointment, especially when customers have taken the time to send us an accurate reading.
  • Currently 84% of the opening readings we received pass the validation process and appear on customers’ initial statements. We will be targeting this success rate, and aim to see improvements through process analysis and better communication with our customers.


Debt Collection Contact – 3.5%

  • 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.
  • Some customers who have agreed a payment plan to clear an outstanding balance have continued to receive communication from us regarding their debt. We understand that this has caused unnecessary concern, and have implemented a process change to ensure that customers are not contacted as long as their planned payments are made in full and on time.

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