Your Complete Guide to The Energy Supplier Complaints Handler
Energy Ombudsman are approved by Ofgem to handle disputes between consumers and their energy suppliers. You can make use of their complaints services if you are a domestic or micro business energy consumer. Essentially, an ombudsman is someone who investigates complaints. In this instance, the ombudsman specifically deals with complaints from consumers of the energy sector.
Below is a video from the Ombudsman services further explaining their role and services.
What do they represent?
The Energy Ombudsman act as a support network to help consumers deal with issues regarding a service they rely on, energy. They are highly experienced in dealing with complaints and are therefore prepared to understand and deal with the most common types of problems and resolve them as quickly as possible.
In their own words, the most common energy complaints are about:
- gas and electricity bills,
- problems that arise from switching energy supplier,
- the way in which an energy product or service has been sold (inc. door
- stop sales),
- the supply of energy to your home,
- microgeneration and Feed-in-Tariffs,
- problems relating to services provided under the Green Deal,
- problems relating to District Heating suppliers who are part of a Heat
- Trust Scheme,
- Network Providers when there is a loss of supply or a connectivity or
- repair problems.
They represent the ethos of ensuring fair deals and conduct for domestic and micro businesses, currently having assisted 90,000 people.
What are their goals?
Energy Ombudsman’s 2020 value statements are as following:
1. being balanced
2. being open
3. being courageous
4. being empathetic.
What is the Energy Ombudsman to its stakeholders?
|To their consumers||They are the people consumers can turn to for impartial advice and fair solutions|
|To their partners||They are the people partners look to, to help them reduce complaints. Energy Ombudsman enables its partners to make the changes they need to deliver|
better customer service.
|To their regulators||They pride themselves on protecting rights and they partner on information sharing.|
Energy Ombudsman shares their analysis so that regulators can business partners can make their own
advancements and improvements.
|To their staff||They enable them to be able to deliver high quality service to consumers and partners through meaningful work.|
How they handle complaints
The Energy Ombudsman are regulated by NEON, the European network of independent, not-for-profit dispute-resolution services for consumers. They have been approved by Ofgem, Ofcom (the regulator for the communications services used each day such as broadband, home and mobile phones, and TV and radio), and the European Consumers Centres (ECC-Net). Moreover Energy Ombudsman are approved by The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) to operate in non-regulated sectors.
So, now we know that they are registered and legal, how do they do they make decisions on complaints they receive?
In their own words, Energy Ombudsman:
1. look at the complaint raised the evidence submitted by both parties,
2. consider the consumer’s Consumer Rights,
3. review the evidence against relevant legislation and expected industry practice,
4. make a decision,
5. recommend what can be done in order to put things right.
There are three important things to remember when engaging with the ombudsman:
1. they can only deal with complaints about UK energy and communications providers,
2. your provider has to be signed up their scheme, you can search here,
3. you should have logged a formal complaint with your provider prior to contacting them (8 weeks of no resolution, response or satisfaction)
What is likely to be the resolution of a complaint?
The action your receive to ‘make mistakes right’ may include:
– a practical action such as cancelling an account, applying credit to an account,
– an apology may be issued,
– a financial acknowledgement of the difficulties encountered,
– recommendations issued to the company to prevent the issue reoccurring,
– or a combination of these.
How are the ombudsman services funded?
Ombudsman is free for consumers to access and benefit from. The fee a company who is signed up to their scheme pays have each complaint reviewed. Matt Vickers, Chief Executive, assures customers that this fee to fund has ‘no bearing on [their] decision’.
Who is the energy ombudsman?
The energy ombudsman is an independent, non-biased entity within the energy sector. It is not affiliated with any consumer groups nor Ofgem. The Energy Ombudsman offer advice and guidance on handling the complaints procedure, should a consumer choose to escalate a complaint with their supplier.
Who can the energy ombudsman represent?
The energy ombudsman services represent domestic and micro businesses who have already logged a complaint with their provider. You should only contact the energy ombudsman if 8 weeks have passed since response, resolution, or satisfaction of the complaint.
Is Ofgem the same as the Energy Ombudsman?
In short, no. The energy ombudsman is the energy sector’s supplier complaints handler, whereas Ofgem are a regulating