Regular readers will not be surprised to discover which British company has today been named the worst for customer service. It’s energy giant Scottish Power, whose computer problems and consequent billing mistakes prompted more of you to write to me with complaints than any firm this year.
In the latest Which? annual survey of the UK’s 100 biggest brands, Scottish Power was ranked the lowest, with a customer score of just 59 per cent. To put that into context, the top-rated company (cosmetics retailer Lush, much famed for its fragrant bath-bombs), scored a creditable 89 per cent.
The problems with Scottish Power have been going on for some time. I wrote so many pieces about the company earlier in the year that Neil Clitheroe, the firm’s retail and generation chief, flew down from his office in Glasgow to meet me in London and try to explain what’s gone wrong.
He said the company has been moving millions of customers to a new system, which resulted in cock-ups on the accounts of tens of thousands of customers. He promised the complaints were being dealt with, saying: “It’s going to take a few more months to fix these problems for the few thousand remaining customers but we’re solving more every day and, over the next few months, we’ll have them all fixed.”
It’s a few months later and yesterday I had an email from reader Mike Hamilton from Canterbury. “Two and a quarter years to sort out a meter-billing problem; are other readers finding it takes that long to resolve issues with Scottish Power?” he asked, not unfairly.
Mike reported that, even after the energy ombudsman gave the company a 30-day deadline, it only approached him 24 hours before its expiry.
“I still haven’t received an apology,” he added. “Just a very stroppy customer services woman barking down the phone at me.” Are other readers still experiencing problems with the energy firm? Do get in touch ...
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