Scottish Power has been named best large supplier of the year in an annual review of Britain’s utility companies, but smaller suppliers still beat off competition from the Big Six to be named top for their customer satisfaction.
The Glasgow-based energy firm won the title of best large online provider and best value for money of large suppliers in the 12th annual uSwitch.com Energy Customer Satisfaction Report.
However, Octopus Energy – included in the report for the first time – ranked first for overall customer satisfaction with a score of 96 per cent, while the big six suppliers prop up the bottom of the table. It also comes top in four other categories including customer service and billing services.
ScottishPower, the top-performing of the Big Six, scored 70.6 per cent for customer service, having risen by one per cent from last year’s score, while Perth-based SSE was just behind with 70.5 per cent and also won Best Meter Reading Services in the large supplier category. Overall, the survey found that customer satisfaction fell by 2.5 per cent in the last year, however, the top seven suppliers in this years’ report all scored higher than any of the big six energy companies have ever achieved since the survey began.
Claire Osborne, energy expert at uSwitch.com said: “Following a year which saw widespread price hikes to poor-value Standard Variable Tariffs, it’s no surprise to find that consumers aren’t as happy as they were before. But consumers are clearly impressed with what’s on offer from challenger brands as an alternative to the larger and more established suppliers, demonstrating the level of competition and choice we see in the energy market today.
“The fact that two smaller companies – Octopus and Bulb – have won the majority of this year’s awards, sends a strong message to the more established players that customers will look elsewhere if they don’t feel they are being treated properly.”
Bulb, another small supplier, also fared well, ranking second for overall customer satisfaction with a score of 92 per cent, while it also triumphed in five other categories including value for money and account management.
Satisfaction for OVO Energy, the overall top supplier in the past three years, has dropped by nine per cent. OVO Energy now ranks in fourth place overall, behind Utility Warehouse, as all top three spots go to new entrants.
Colin McNeill, head of retail at ScottishPower, said: “We have consistently seen improving performance in industry surveys this year for the services we offer to customers. We are pleased to be the highest ranked large supplier, and to see our overall score moving in the right direction.”