Blogs

Jo Geraghty

Director

Customer complaints

Date added: 22nd Aug 2014
Category: Customer Experience

In an ideal world complaints would never arise but when they do it is how they are handled which differentiates those organisations which truly care for their customers from those who don’t.

Energy firm EDF has been ordered to pay a fine of £3m following an Ofgem investigation into EDF’s complaint handling process.  Ofgem ordered the initial investigation following a 30% rise in the number of complaints raised against EDF in the 2011/2012 period.  This rise coincided with the introduction of a new IT system which left many callers either hanging on the line or with their complaints left unlogged.

The fine was imposed in the light of Ofgem’s findings that during the period in question EDF “did not have appropriate procedures in place to properly receive, record and process all customers’ complaints in accordance with complaints handling rules.”  These rules provide a basis for proper complaints handling including:

  • recording in a written electronic format the date the complaint was received
  • the identity and contact details of the relevant customer making the complaint
  • a summary of the complaint
  • a summary of the advice given or action taken or agreed
  • whether the complaint has been resolved and if so, the basis upon which it is considered that the complaint has been resolved

In an ideal world complaints would never arise but when they do it is how they are handled which differentiates those organisations which truly care for their customers from those who don’t.  The EDF problem may have arisen as a result of an IT switch-over but the basic rules on customer complaint handling are ones which many other organisations can learn from.

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