Some of the Biggest Issues Encountered with Energy Suppliers
- Inaccurate billing and taking payments at the wrong time
- Inaccurate metering information
- Ofgem fined several suppliers in relation to poor customer service
- Many businesses are overpaying their energy supplier because they have gone out of contract and been rolled onto more expensive standard tariffs
Energy is a volatile and competitive industry haunted by mistrust and customer dissatisfaction. Which makes the biggest issues with energy suppliers a sore subject for those who have experienced it.
However, if we do not discuss the potential problems with energy suppliers, we cannot sufficiently highlight ways for you to resolve them. Let’s be brave and investigate so that in the future dealing with your business energy supplier is less of a hassle.
Inaccurate billing and mistimed payments
How frustrating is it when a bill comes out of your bank when you’re not expecting it to? It is even more infuriating when you discover that the bill in question is also much higher than your usual payments.
To a small business, this can completely unbalance your books. For those who are in a less stable financial situation, this can also make it difficult to continue operations as you don’t have the finance to stock up until more money comes in.
Causes of inaccurate billing
There could be several reasons that your business energy bills are not correct:
- Inaccurate metering: Your business energy supplier should regularly read your meter to ensure that you the information they have about your consumption is accurate.
- Going out of contract: When it comes to the end of your business energy contract, if you have not arranged a new one, or to switch providers, you will be rolled onto a more expensive standard tariff. These tariffs consist of variable pricing, therefore, your business will be at the mercy of the ever-fluctuating business energy market – If the cost of business gas or electricity rises, you will feel the pinch!
Learn more about the best time to review your business energy contract, to avoid having this happening to you.
- Estimated billing: Sometimes, suppliers are not able to/ do not take meter readings for prolonged periods of time. This means that they are calculating your billing from an estimation based on previous consumption figures.
By comparing the estimated reading on your bill to your meter yourself, you can ensure that your business energy supplier is charging you correctly for your usage.
If you discover a definitive difference between what you read on your meter and what is on your bill, contact your supplier. Together you should be able to work out if you have been overpaying and arrange a refund if necessary. If you have been underpaying, then you will be able to arrange a payment plan with your business energy provider.
How to resolve an inaccurate billing complaint?
If you suspect that your bills are inaccurate or that you have been charged for your business energy on the wrong date, get in touch with your supplier immediately – There may be a reason that you have been billed at this time.
If you are certain that the issue doesn’t stem from anything you may have overlooked, you can then proceed to arrange a refund with your supplier. The funds may take a couple of days to reappear in your bank account, however, you should get your money back.
Inaccurate metering information
One of the biggest causes of issues with energy suppliers stems from the provider recording inaccurate metering information. If your metering information is incorrect, the estimations for your bills are also.
Causes of inaccurate metering
For businesses affected by inaccurate metering, it can be an inconvenience at best.
Some of the causes for this happening:
- Recording information from the wrong meter
- Suppliers not reading your meter often enough
- Meter faults
How to resolve an inaccurate metering complaint?
You can identify whether a clear mistake has been made on your meter readings by taking a reading yourself and submitting it to your supplier to ensure that the information is accurate.
Inconvenient though it is, mistakes can happen, an engineer may just have done something as clumsy as misread or incorrectly record the wrong meter reading for your premises.
The main thing is that you check your billing and contact your supplier if you believe there is a discrepancy with the accuracy of your meter readings.
If you suspect there is a problem with your meter, your supplier could ask you to take readings once a day for a week to monitor your consumption. If the fault is not uncovered at this point, your business gas or electricity supplier will carry out some tests to check if the meter itself is damaged or faulty.
If this happens to you, a good contingency measure would be to take some meter readings before testing begins. This is a good way to avoid billing disputes as you have recordings of exactly what has happened.
Poor customer service
When a business provides a service, you expect a certain standard of customer care.
Poor customer service is not something that you need when you are trying to resolve an issue or uncover information from your business energy supplier. It can turn a slightly annoying situation into an event that ruins your day.
Causes of poor customer service
- IT faults
- Long waiting times
- Unhelpful and poorly trained staff
How to resolve a customer service complaint with your business energy supplier?
All suppliers have a complaints procedure. When you are dissatisfied with the service you have received, ask the individual that you are speaking to for the details that you need to open a complaint or go online and find them – The sooner you act, the faster the issue can be resolved.
If you are still unhappy with the outcome of your dispute, there are services available that can help and advise you on what to do next. These include:
- Citizens Advice Bureau
Rolling onto a more expensive, standard tariff
Going out of contract is one of the biggest issues with energy suppliers, as it means that you are going to be paying your provider much more than you have to for your gas and electricity – No one wants that.
“It is estimated that 1,200,000 businesses are overpaying their energy supplier” – CMA
You can avoid this by making the most of what is referred to as the window of opportunity. During this time, you are free to search the market for better, more affordable business energy contracts. If you fail to do so by your contract end date, you will be rolled onto what is often your suppliers’ most expensive tariff.
What to do about rolling onto a standard tariff?
Making Exchange Utility your first choice for finding a new business energy contract means that you also get to make the most of our specialised account management team.
Their job is to take care of your business accounts after you have signed up and identify further opportunities for you to save money, as well as ensuring that you never go out of contract and pay more than you need to for your business gas, electricity and water ever again.
Sign up by completing the short form below with just a couple of details from a recent energy bill, or call 0800 9777 000 and speak to a friendly advisor.
How to avoid the biggest issues with business energy suppliers in the future
It is always useful to do a little bit of research about a new supplier of any kind before agreeing to a new 1-5 year contract. That’s why it’s wise to look into things like reviews and past customer experiences.
If you are considering a new business energy supplier or would like to know your current provider’s score, you can check out their reviews on the Trust Pilot website.