Financial News

  • 14 May 2014, 5:09

Npower Tops Citizens Advice Complaints Table

Energy giant Npower topped a 'big six' complaints list, at the same time it announced inflation-busting price hikes.

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) said that between October and December, it received 10 times as many complaints as the best performing rival, SSE.

Late last year German-owned Npower wrote to 3.4 million customers, after it suffered a sharp rise in customer complaints over billing failures.

This followed an announcement imposing the highest price hikes of the major suppliers, at 10.4%.

CAB said Npower received 306 complaints per 100,000 customers in the period. It has a total of 5.9 million customers.

The figure was three times as many as the second worst for customer complaints, Scottish Power, which received 100 complaints for every 100,000 customers.

In January, Npower retail director Roger Hattam issued a second apology, over complaints it received due to a new billing system, with some customers hit with inaccurate charges.

At the time, Consumer Futures revealed Npower had attracted nearly half of all complaints of 'big six' firms between July and September, at 253 per 100,000 customers.

CAB said complaints against the company jumped by 300% between January 2012 and December 2013.

It slammed the rise as "unacceptable" adding that some customers were financially damaged over Npower's billing failures.

Complaints included direct debits being stopped, late billings and new accounts not being set up correctly.

CAB chief executive Gillian Guy said: "Things are getting worse not better for Npower customers.

"It is unacceptable that Npower has not yet sorted out the serious failings in its billing systems and customer service which are causing so many complaints and serious problems for its customers."

In a statement to Sky News, Npower retail director Roger Hattam said: "We wrote to all our customers during this period last year apologising for the impact on them of issues we have had with the implementation of our new billing system.

"We are making good progress in dealing with the root causes of this, but remain totally committed to resolving any problems this has created for our customers."

In late January, Npower was slammed by both watchdog Ofgem and the Department of Energy and Climate Change over a 14-page report it issued trying to explain cost structures of household bills and green taxes.

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