Energy suppliers worst for billing mistakes

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The Independent Online

Consumers have named energy suppliers as the worst culprits for getting bills wrong for the fourth year in a row, according to new research from uSwitch. com, a price comparison site.

The energy industry was voted worst for inaccuracy, ahead of banks, council tax departments and other utility providers, pipping HM Revenue & Customs to the post.

Three in 10 households have been on the receiving end of an inaccurate energy bill within the past two years - 17 per cent of these on more than one occasion. On average, these inaccuracies took just over two months to resolve, although 36 per cent were resolved within a week. In addition, 12 per cent of households have ended up owing between £200 and £400 due to a discrepancy between an estimated and an actual bill.

According to Ann Robinson, the director of consumer policy at uSwitch, consumers have to take matters into their own hands: "Suppliers have been working hard to make it easier than ever for consumers to provide their own readings – online, by phone, post or even text. Consumers should aim to provide a reading once a quarter. Failure to do so can result in an estimated bill – where many of the issues relating to accuracy lie."

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