The volume of complaints about energy companies has reached a record high in the first six months of 2014, according to the independent ombudsman.
Complaints in the period to July this year have already surpassed that of the entire of 2013, with customers especially unhappy with their bills and the way transfers have been handled.
The total number of complaints has almost tripled from 7,350 between 13 Jan and 13 June 2013 to 22,671 for 14 January to 14 June this year.
The rising totals were driven by people upset with the cost of their bills (113 per cent increase on the same period last year) and transfer related issues (up 146 per cent). Billing complaints accounted for a huge 84 per cent of all grievances.
Broadly speaking, however, it seems that most causes for complaint have received similar spikes in terms of percentage increase, all rocketing in January of this year and then remaining steady at the new, higher level.
This could be a result of increased discussion of energy companies in the media or people becoming frustrated with higher costs of living.
Chief Energy Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith commented:
“The spike in complaints is in part a result of the rising cost of living, but also as a result of consumers becoming more aware of their rights – and feeling more empowered to act and fight for a fair deal. Addressing these concerns is crucial to restoring consumer confidence in the sector.”