Thousands of customers have been ‘let down’ after switching energy suppliers to British Gas, survey suggests
- It has taken on more than 700,000 people after their suppliers folded last year
- Many of those brought in feel disappointed, according to a new survey
- MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis says suppliers need to ‘up their game’
- People getfrustrated ‘by an opaque and inflexible process’ when trying to move
British Gas is letting down customers it has signed up from rival firms that have gone bust, according to a consumer survey.
More than 700,000 of the 2 million people forced to switch supplier have been picked up by British Gas.
But a survey of 12,000 people found many of those rescued by this ‘safety net’ switching regime, managed by regulator Ofgem, feel let down.
MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis said firms ‘must up their game’ after one in five people who switched in September and October still hadn’t got their credit balance back three months later.
British Gas has picked up 700,000 new customers from gas and electricity suppliers who have gone bust in the last year (file image)
Martin Lewis, who runs website MoneySavingExpert, has said companies need to ‘up their game’ to help new customers
That rose to nine in ten for those moved from PFP Energy or People’s Energy to British Gas.
Ofgem ‘expects most refunds to be completed soon’.
British Gas said problems in repaying credit were often caused by the failed suppliers, adding: ‘The majority have now been applied or will be shortly.
The survey found at least half of those contacting British Gas, EDF and Shell Energy by phone, email or live chat – for any reason – had found it difficult.
Mr Lewis, said the scale of company collapses has been so large that the Ofgem safety net regime and remaining energy suppliers have struggled to pick up the pieces.
However, he said ‘times are tougher still for those failed firms’ customers’.
Mr Lewis said: ‘Millions have been moved to new firms they didn’t choose, and with the collapse of cheap switchers’ deals, they’ve had little choice but to stay there – often left confused and frustrated by an opaque and inflexible process.
‘Missing credit balances, billing delays and poor communication would be bad enough in isolation – but in the midst of the explosion in consumer energy prices, we mustn’t underestimate the impact of these errors on people’s financial and emotional wellbeing, many of whom are already feeling scared and vulnerable.
‘Yet it’s clear that some firms have handled these transfers much better than others – the differences in feedback between the best and worst performing providers are stark.’