Many people are experiencing financial issues in the current climate, with some struggling to stretch their money far enough to cover essential costs. Citizens Advice say this situation is made worse for many because of inaccurate energy bills issued by some of the worst-rated suppliers in the country.
The charity ranks suppliers based on a range of factors, such as customer service levels. It found many of the worst-rated suppliers had been plaguing customers with inaccurate bills during the first quarter of this year. On top of this, poor customer service levels have made it more difficult for customers to sort out such inaccuracies.
Concerns raised over the scope of inaccuracies
Citizens Advice have raised concerns over the scope of the inaccuracies, with the bottom five suppliers failing to provide an accurate energy bill for 15% of customers. Many of these customers, including elderly energy users, subsequently faced problems trying to get in touch with the company to query the bill. One lady told the charity that she had tried to make contact and kept getting told that someone would call her back, but they never did.
The Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, Clare Moriarty, said, "All companies have a responsibility to deliver the best possible service to their customers and it is disappointing to see such a wide chasm between those who are taking this seriously and those who are not. When customers with billing errors are unable to contact their supplier for help, it can cause immense stress. These problems are even worse for those who are already worried about money."
An official from Energy UK also commented, stating it was important for energy firms to quickly rectify billing issues on the 'rare occasions' errors occurred. He also said that energy firms were committed to improving and maintaining standards and that smart meters could help to reduce the issue of inaccurate bills.
Putting an increased financial strain on people
Many people, particularly vulnerable groups and the elderly, are already under immense financial strain due to Covid-19. Receiving inaccurate bills they cannot sort out with the supplier has left many facing even greater money-related stress.