Inaccurate gas and electricity bills criticised

Politics / Sat 26th Jun 2021 at 09:15am

GAS and electricity customers are still being plagued by inaccurate bills from the UK’s worst-rated suppliers, a charity has said.

Citizens Advice ranks energy companies based on a series of criteria including customer service.

It said many people whose finances were already stretched by the pandemic faced further difficulties after receiving incorrect energy bills.

Suppliers said smart meters would help improve the accuracy of bills.

Citizens Advice said there was a clear divide between the best and worst performing energy suppliers in the UK during the first three months of the year.

It has warned of “a race to the bottom” among the companies it had placed at, or near, the bottom of the list.

The charity raised particular concern about inaccurate billing, suggesting that suppliers ranked in the bottom five failed to provide an correct bill for 15% of their customers.

These problems were then often made worse as customers were unable to contact the company to ensure things were put right.

One elderly customer told the charity: “I’ve contacted them so many times and they say someone will get back to me, but no-one ever calls me back.”

Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “All companies have a responsibility to deliver the best possible service to their customers and it is disappointing to see such a wide chasm between those who are taking this seriously and those who are not. 

“When customers with billing errors are unable to contact their supplier for help, it can cause immense stress. These problems are even worse for those who are already worried about money.”

A spokesman for Energy UK, which represents suppliers, said: “Energy suppliers produce millions of energy bills each year and in the rare cases where errors are made, they need to be fixed quickly.” 

He said suppliers were striving to improve service and maintain standards. The introduction of smart meters would bring accurate bills, as well as more choice, control and visibility to consumers over their energy use, he added.

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3 Comments for Inaccurate gas and electricity bills criticised:

Jawad Sharief
2021-06-26 09:32:43

Citizens advice bureau should be ashamed of itself pushing there's so called smart meters before my dad died on September 19th 2020 my dad thought he was doing the right thing getting a smart meter because while my dad was using oxygen from a progressive lung condition the smart meter would always at the most inconvenient time stop working shame on you citizens advice bureau for trying to push it through

2021-06-26 15:26:35

Smart meters are smart they are just meters! They can't switch your supply to a cheaper or more environmentally friendly energy source and by all accounts too frequently malfunction. They just put meter readers out of a job!

2021-06-26 19:41:30

They are the thin end of the wedge for variable rate pricing, eg you pay more at peak times anyone that is thinking of getting one should do some research plus you are under no obligation to have one despite what you may be told by the suppliers trying to meet the target set for them. They do not save you money, If you leave lights etc turned on when not required you will pay more simple as that.

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