Up to 380,000 customers of collapsed energy companies could suffer from bill shock and damaged credit ratings due to errors when moving their new suppliers.
Data from solutions company Sagacity has predicted that 10 per cent of the 3.8 million customers that had to be transferred to new energy providers might suffer from data gaps – including wrong names, addresses, meter readings and tariff information – leading to bill shock and impacted credit ratings.
“With millions of customers already displaced and potentially more to come, data migration will be a huge challenge for energy providers,” said Sagacity’s founding partner and chief executive Anita Dougall.
“Customer tariffs may be accidentally transferred to a default rate, debt repayment plans may be disrupted, and bills could go to the wrong addressees, leading to bill shock in a few months’ time – the potential issues are endless given the significant task in hand for energy providers.”
According to Dougall, as suppliers inherit records that are inaccurate or stored differently, they will struggle to apply consistent filing methods, turning the hope of a seamless migration into a mirage.
“Even if the data provided by the old supplier is good quality, it can still cause challenges if it’s in a different format to the new provider’s system,” she added. “Just migrating old records simply won’t work, the data needs assessing and validating – quality matters.”
The data comes amid fear that even stable energy providers could collapse as temperatures decrease.
“Where we’re at now, it’s the gas spike that’s to blame,” Energy UK’s chief executive Emma Pinchbeck told the Times. “Even very well-hedged, well-run companies that have been in the market for a very long time are looking at the situation and are really, really worried.”