A fifth of customers incorrectly billed by energy companies

Almost one fifth of UK customers have been billed incorrectly by their gas and electricity suppliers.

Comparison site uSwitch, revealed these stati…

Almost one fifth of UK customers have been billed incorrectly by their gas and electricity suppliers.

Comparison site uSwitch, revealed these statistics in its latest survey. It found 19 per cent of respondents fell victim to inaccuracies over the last two years. As a result, consumers have voted energy firms the worst for sending out wrong information for the eighth year in a row.

Worryingly, the study found the number of people who ended up owing money to their suppliers due to the discrepancy between estimated and 'real' bills increased again this year. In 2014, over ten million consumers (39 per cent) have found themselves in debt to gas and electricity companies, as opposed to 9.6 million (37 per cent) in 2013. 

According to the report, the average amount of money owed by customers stands at £146, while 14 per cent of consumers are in debt to the tune of between £200-£400. In addition, a further seven per cent have been left facing a deficit of over £400. At a time where many families are struggling to pay for their rising energy bills, this news will be extremely unwelcome. 

To make matters worse, customers are now having to wait even longer to have these mistakes rectified. The study found this year, companies were taking an average of two months to correct inaccuracies, compared to just one month last year. Only 39 per cent of errors were resolved within a week, while 11 per cent of cases were completed in 24 hours. This is down from the 42 per cent and 16 per cent achieved during 2013 respectively.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, commented: "Consumers are typically paying over £100 a month for gas and electric, so the fact they cannot rely on the accuracy of their bills is simply unacceptable. With energy bills accounting for the largest chunk of household expenditure after rent and mortgage payments, billing blunders can leave consumers frustrated and out of pocket."

She added there was a dangerous link between bill inaccuracy, estimation and debt, and advised consumers to always contact their energy supplier with up-to-date meter readings so that they are always paying for exactly what they are using. 

By James Francis

Tell others:

shortlink