Quarterly Complaints Report 2018 Q1

What we're doing about the number and type of complaints we receive

Human Error – 8.9%

  • 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 throughout 2018.


Direct Debit Review – 7.7%

  • 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, we will be reviewing our processes and communication with customers to ensure we manage seasonal changes in payments correctly.


Accurate Charges – 4.1%

  • Over the winter months, the average UK household uses significantly more electricity and gas than during the rest of the year. The difference this makes to monthly bills can come as a surprise, and has resulted in some dissatisfaction – especially for customers who have only just switched to Bristol Energy.
  • Some of our customers have also gone for significant periods of time without supplying readings, and have received an unexpectedly large bill when they eventually read their meter. We continue to remind our customers to supply regular readings to avoid estimated bills, which means they will be less likely to receive unexpected charges for their energy consumption.


Estimated Readings – 4.1%

  • 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 avoid this, and installing smart meters which will result in accurate bills.
  • We have also been working on improving our billing processes to ensure that readings are always added to customers’ accounts in time for their bill, and will continue trying to make it easier to send us readings.


Debt Collection Communication – 3.8%

  • 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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