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Energy supply complaints down 7%
EDF Energy received more than 195 complaints per 100,000 customers in the first three months of the year
EDF Energy has topped a list of the most complained-about energy suppliers - the only one of the "big six" to see an increase in complaints this year.
The number of complaints to most suppliers fell slightly, by an average of 7%, in the first three months of the year, the quarterly report from Consumer Focus shows.
Scottish and Southern Energy retains its position at the top of the table with a 5 star rating based on the number of complaints weighted by factors including how long they took to be resolved and their seriousness. British Gas and Scottish Power have four stars while E.On and npower have three stars.
EDF Energy remains at the bottom of the table with a zero rating, and is the only firm which has seen an increase in the weighted number of complaints it receives. The company received 195.3 complaints per 100,000 customers, more than double that of npower, which received the second highest number of complaints at 89 per 100,000 customers.
EDF's performance means it does not receive a Consumer Focus star rating for the third quarter in a row. The last time it held one star was in June 2011.
Consumer Focus director of energy Audrey Gallacher said: "It is welcome to see a decrease in complaint levels. Suppliers have said they want to increase consumer trust in the industry so they need to build on this result and work towards achieving consistently good customer service.
"It is however disappointing to see yet another poor performance from EDF Energy over this quarter. The firm has made some big commitments to improve its performance and its customers will rightly expect to see it getting back on track on customer service."
EDF said: "We are obviously disappointed that our service levels are not at the high standards we expect and our customers deserve. We recognise that we must improve and are absolutely determined to get better. We are pleased to see there have been clear signs of progress since April with complaints falling by 25%.
"The Consumer Focus figures released today relate only to the first quarter of the year, the period following the final phase of the migration of 5.5 million customer accounts to a new computer system. Despite taking on hundreds of extra staff, the migration to the upgraded system led to unacceptably long delays in answering phones calls. We sincerely apologise for inconvenience caused to customers during this transition.
"However, service levels have stabilised and are now improving. The number of complaints we received via Consumer Direct or Citizens Advice fell from nine per 100,000 customers in January 2012 to six per 100,000 customers by the end of March 2012."
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