Simon Read: Don’t blow a fuse with your energy supplier, just switch

The energy watchdog Ofgem has slammed Scottish Power, while Citizens Advice reports a string of complaints about it

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The Independent Online

Scottish Power has been given three months to get its act together or face a sales ban.

The energy company has been ordered to speed up call answering, cut overdue bills from 75,000 to 30,000, and clear an unacceptable backlog of ombudsman cases waiting to be dealt with.

The energy watchdog Ofgem yesterday slammed the supplier, while Citizens Advice reports a string of complaints about it, saying: “Getting bills right is a basic part of supplying energy, yet people are coming to us with a myriad of problems, including bogus bills and being charged despite switching.”

The charity helped one person wrongly sent a demand for £5,000 and two Questions of Cash complaints in this issue is about Scottish Power.

Against that background, reader David Shearn of Somerset wrote this week responding to an article suggesting that anyone who hasn’t switched energy supplier would be better off doing so. “This may be a good idea, but what happens when supplies are affected or things go wrong?” David rightly asked. “How quickly are they put right, especially if using a small supplier?”

I told him that many smaller providers I’ve spoken to are more focused and appear to spend more on customer service than the big companies, pro rata, as they know it makes a difference.

For that reason – as well as the attraction  that they may have cheaper deals – I’ve moved away from the big six and have no plans to return in the near future.

Customers of Scottish Power who appear to be experiencing such a nightmare at the moment could do well to do likewise.

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