Complaints about energy firms fall, says Consumer Focus

Image caption The figures are put together on a quarterly basis by Consumer Focus

The number of complaints about the UK's major energy suppliers fell by 4% in the final three months of 2011, a watchdog says.

The drop, compared with the previous quarter, took the average number of complaints to 83 per 100,000 customers, Consumer Focus said.

The fall came after a 26% increase in complaints across the big six suppliers in the third quarter of 2011.

The watchdog said many problems for consumers still needed to be resolved.

'Rebuilding faith'

The data shows that complaints about four of the major suppliers - SSE, British Gas, Npower and EDF Energy - dropped in the last three months of the year.

E.On recorded a 7% rise in complaints and Scottish Power was unchanged.

EDF remained the worst performing, with 188 complaints per 100,000 customers. This meant it was awarded a zero rating out of five by Consumer Focus.

However, complaints to EDF were down 14% on the previous quarter. The watchdog said some progress was being made to deal with problems surrounded EDF's implementation of a new billing system, and difficulties for customers trying to get through on the telephone.

"Any fall in complaints is clearly welcome but there are still many problems energy customers are experiencing which need to be resolved," said Audrey Gallacher, of Consumer Focus.

"Giving consistently good customer service and tackling any problems which do arise effectively is key to rebuilding faith in the distrusted energy market. "

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