Our customer service performance

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First Utility customer service performance

Our aim is to be the number one service provider in our industry – a market leader in quality and customer satisfaction. We're listening to you and using your feedback to make things better.

We’re committed to offering great prices along with great service, which is why we’ve invested more than £20m in our customer services team:

  • We have created more than 900 UK jobs in the past two years as part of our ambition to become the best energy company for service
  • We focus on learning and applying great service from all industries
  • We have an award winning app to help you manage your energy account and usage. Download now for Android or IOS
  • We challenge our industry to do better for its customers. We’ve already made it easier to change supplier by reducing the time to switch from five weeks down to two and half. Our aim is to get it down to 24 hours and we’re continuing to challenge the industry to get there.

Something we could do better?

We know we don’t get everything right all the time, so if there’s something that we could improve on, please let us know

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How we handle complaints

Our complaints performance

We’re dedicated to making your experience with us a great one. We’re investing in new systems, new training, new processes and more staff. We know there is still work to be done, but we’ve come a long way already.

For our full complaints procedure, click on ‘How we handle complaints’ at the top of the page.

Below you can find the top five reasons for complaints between April and June 2015 and the work we’re doing to address them. You’ll also find a snap-shot of our performance over the same period.

1. Billing

Billing issues were the highest driver for complaints in the last quarter as our bills sometimes need explaining in more detail. We’re the only supplier who aims to provide a monthly bill, but we acknowledge that for a small proportion of our customers we don’t always achieve this.

What we’re doing to improve

We continue to invest in our billing platform to improve your bills. Shortly you'll be able to get bills on demand so you can see the exact status of your account.

We’re working with a number of focus groups and external experts to make our bills simpler. We’ll use this research to create a better experience for you.

2. Meter readings

We encourage our customers to submit meter readings to us every month to make sure your bills are accurate. We try to make sure all readings submitted are used to calculate your bills but very occasionally this doesn't happen.

What we’re doing to improve

We are improving our validation checks when you submit readings through your online account, so when you do the system will tell you if the read looks okay. If your readings fail validation you’ll be provided with an explanation and encouraged to check your readings.

Our mobile app now has a feature which reads your meter for you via the in-phone camera to make it easier to send us a reading.

3. Payments

The volume of payment complaints we receive can fluctuate for a variety of reasons. We encourage our customers to pay by Fixed Direct Debit to ensure regular payments are being made to cover the cost of energy all year round. We acknowledge that we must improve our payment processing and communication to make this a hassle free process for our customers.

What we’re doing about this

We’re continually improving the customer experience of processing payments, with a focus on making this as simple and fuss-free as we can. We’ve developed our systems and internal processes to reduce errors and allow for quicker identification when something does go wrong. We’re also improving our training and making outbound calls to support our customers when it does go wrong.

4. Direct Debits

Managing your payments can be stressful. We want to make sure that your monthly Direct Debit is set at the right amount, as keeping on top of your bills is hard enough.

What we’re doing about this

We’ll review your monthly Direct Debit amount on a six monthly basis and notify you of any changes before your next payment is taken. Our re-assessment process relies on receiving regular meter readings from you, so it’s based on actual usage.

5. Moving home

Moving home can be stressful so we want to make moving your energy account as simple as possible. This can be a complicated process as we need to make sure your account information and the details of the people moving into your property all transfer correctly.

What we’re doing about this

To ensure we get this right, we've invested in software improvements recently to ensure our systems and processes make this a smooth transition. One of the most important aspects is knowing when you should tell your supplier that you're moving and when to submit your final and opening meter readings so we've tried to signpost this as clearly as possible.

Our performance this quarter:

Quarter 2 - 2013 (April/May/June)
Number of complaints received 5249
Number of complaints received per 100,000 customers 1403
Number of complaints resolved 4744
Number of complaints resolved per 100,000 customers 1268
% resolved at day +1 35.77%
% resolved at eight weeks 75.8%
Quarter 3 - 2013 (July/August/September)
Number of complaints received 5217
Number of complaints received per 100,000 customers 1396
Number of complaints resolved 5957
Number of complaints resolved per 100,000 customers 1594
% resolved at day +1 36.70%
% resolved at eight weeks 85.39%
Quarter 1 - 2014 (January/February/March)
Number of complaints received 8680
Number of complaints received per 100,000 customers 1182
Number of complaints resolved 8473
Number of complaints resolved per 100,000 customers 1154
% resolved at day +1 15%
% resolved at eight weeks 91%
Quarter 2 - 2014 (April/May/June)
Number of complaints received 8963
Number of complaints received per 100,000 customers 956
Number of complaints resolved 7860
Number of complaints resolved per 100,000 customers 839
% resolved at day +1 42%
% resolved at eight weeks 81%
Quarter 3 - 2014 (July/August/September)
Number of complaints received 11035
Number of complaints received per 100,000 customers 949
Number of complaints resolved 13117
Number of complaints resolved per 100,000 customers 1128
% resolved at day +1 25%
% resolved at eight weeks 74%
Quarter 4 - 2014 (October/November/December)
Number of complaints received 13337
Number of complaints received per 100,000 customers 978
Number of complaints resolved 13770
Number of complaints resolved per 100,000 customers 1010
% resolved at day +1 50%
% resolved at eight weeks 78%
Quarter 1 - 2015 (January/February/March)
Number of complaints received 18657
Number of complaints received per 100,000 customers 1227
Number of complaints resolved 21008
Number of complaints resolved per 100,000 customers 1438
% resolved at day +1 48%
% resolved at eight weeks 81%
Quarter 2 - 2015 (April/May/June)
Number of complaints received 16894
Number of complaints received per 100,000 customers 1069
Number of complaints resolved 21802
Number of complaints resolved per 100,000 customers 1380
% resolved at day +1 52%
% resolved at eight weeks 85%
Quarter Number of complaints received Number of complaints received per 100,000 customers Number of complaints resolved Number of complaints resolved per 100,000 customers % resolved at day +1 % resolved at eight weeks
Quarter 2 - 2013 (April/May/June) 5249 1403 4744 1268 36% 76%
Quarter 3 - 2013 (July/August/September) 5217 1396 5957 1594 37% 85%
Quarter 1 - 2014 (January/February/March) 8680 1182 8473 1154 15% 91%
Quarter 2 - 2014 (April/May/June) 8963 956 7860 839 42% 81%
Quarter 3 - 2014 (July/August/September) 11035 949 13117 1128 25% 74%
Quarter 4 - 2014 (October/November/December) 13337 978 13770 1010 50% 78%
Quarter 1 - 2015 (January/February/March) 18657 1227 21008 1438 48% 81%
Quarter 2 - 2015 (April/May/June) 16894 1069 21802 1380 52% 85%
Quarter 3 - 2015 (July/August/September) 19642 1212 23755 1465 50% 84%
Quarter 4 - 2015 (October/November/December) 18426 1092 20531 1217 48% 80%
Quarter 1 - 2016 (January/February/March) 24118 1354 28101 1578 45% 80%
Quarter 2 - 2016 (April/May/June) 18028 1002 22895 1272 47% 84%
Quarter 3 - 2016 (July/August/September) 19452 1091 22259 1248 55% 88%
Quarter 4 - 2016 (October/November/December) 25154 1479 28342 1667 56% 89%
Quarter 1 - 2017 (January/February/March) 34263 2052 37297 2234 64% 89%
Quarter 2 - 2017 (April/May/June) 30007 1882 35119 2203 60% 88%

Complaints received by First Utility

In 2008, Ofgem introduced new complaint handling standards in line with the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 2008. You can find further information on the regulations here.

Should you require a hard copy of the Regulations, please contact the Stationery Office on 0333 200 2425.

A complaint is described by the Regulations as:

“… any expression of dissatisfaction made to an organisation, related to any one or more of its products, its services or the manner in which it has dealt with any such expression of dissatisfaction, where a response is either provided by or on behalf of that organisation at the point at which contact is made or a response is explicitly or implicitly required or expected to be provided thereafter”

We work hard to capture any “expression of dissatisfaction” so that we can understand how to improve our service. Below are the numbers of complaints received each year that couldn’t be resolved on the same or the next working day. This is generally because some complaints require more of an in-depth investigation or additional information from a third party.

1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011 2044
1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012 6966
1 October 2012 to 30 September 2013 20,871
1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014 26,311
1 October 2014 to 30 September 2015 39,520
1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016 35,718
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