At EDF Energy we’re committed to treating our customers fairly. We know that trust in our sector needs to be improved and that growing trust will take time. We have an ambition to become the best and most trusted energy supplier. And we’ll only succeed if we consistently live up to our commitment to deliver fair value and better service, and by making energy easier for our customers.
Our industry regulator, Ofgem, has now made the commitment to fairness a requirement for all energy suppliers. We welcome the introduction of these Standards of Conduct because we believe they’ll improve the experience for all customers and ensure consistency of treatment. This Treating Customers Fairly statement provides you with more information about these standards and the main actions we’re taking to deliver fair outcomes for our EDF Energy customers.
Ofgem has published a set of guidelines explaining what they expect. You can read these by clicking here
We want to treat every customer fairly.
To make energy easier for our customers, we provide many ways for customers to contact us and manage their accounts. Our customers can email us, or call us to speak to an advisor here in the UK, and they can access and manage their account online with MyAccount whenever they need to. Our residential and small business customers can also use the EDF Energy app to manage their account on the go and get support with our live webchat service.
We’ve introduced a Trust Test to make sure we meet the Standards of Conduct. It means that when we create new policies, processes, products or communications, we ask ourselves ‘is this the right thing to do for our customers?’. Then we ask five more questions:
- Is this a fair thing to do?
- Are we being professional?
- Are we offering products, services and advice appropriate for our customers’ needs?
- Are we being transparent and communicating clearly?
- Are we being honest? This includes admitting mistakes and acting quickly to put things right
How do we make sure we treat all our customers fairly - December 2016
Standards of Conduct
We hold a Standards of Conduct Advisory Panel with respected third parties such as Which?, National Energy Action (NEA) and Citizens Advice which helps inform the actions we should take to treat customers fairly and develop our products and services to best meet their needs. These meetings are attended by our Customers Business Managing Director, Director of Sales and Marketing and Director of Customer Operations.
High standards for every customer
We’ve put various measures in place for our sales teams to help them give customers the same high level of service whenever, and however, they get in touch with us. This includes better training and monitoring, as well as a customer satisfaction survey which goes to everyone after they have completed the process of joining us. We also give our staff incentives to focus on quality and compliance – not just based on how many calls they can make, or the number of tariffs they can sell.
Tackling complaints head on
In 2015 we set up a complaints improvement programme to make sure we handle complaints more efficiently, and reduce incidents where we think a complaint’s resolved, but the customer doesn’t. Our complaint management is focused on positive customer outcomes, closing the ‘resolution gap’ and our Senior Management take accountability for identifying, addressing and preventing future complaints. We’re pleased to say that this and other efforts we’ve made have reduced the number of complaints we get. From January 2016 to September 2016 we had 24% less complaints than January 2015 to September 2015. Citizens Advice has also ranked us second for complaints handling amongst the major suppliers (and fourth out of 22 suppliers overall) in its Q3 2016 Residential Complaints League Table. Demanding the best from everyone we work with Today’s energy market isn’t just about suppliers. Other types of business, like price comparison websites, are also interacting directly with customers. We expect anyone who works for us to have the same high standards as our own. So we’ve put extra quality checks in place on sales that go through third parties to make sure that’s the case. We will only work with selected third parties we believe are fair and adhere to Ofgem’s Standards of Conduct.
Fairness in action
Our three promises to our customers are to give them fair value, better service and simplicity. We use these commitments to ensure we’re putting them first. Here are some specific ways we’re continuing to do this:
- We know that our small business customers are busy working. So they want clear tariffs with energy prices they can easily check and compare. They can now get a quote online in 60 seconds. Over 10,000 customers used this service in 2016.
- If a customer leaves us and their balance is in credit, we do our best to make sure they get that money back – even if they left us a while ago.
We improved our online priority services tool for residential customers who need extra help. It helps customers get advice on finding the best tariff for them, cutting the energy they use, managing their money and checking they’re getting the right benefits. It’s also for people with special requirements (e.g. partially sighted or disabled customers) and gives them the option to sign up to our priority services register – so we’ll know they might need some extra attention.
- We’re continuing to work with the UK charity Business Debt Line to offer Recovery for business our small businesses. It helps them get back on track with their energy bills, whilst the Business Debt Line gives them advice about managing all their bills, not just energy.
- We continue to improve our response to complaints by focusing on their root causes - what may have happened in our system or process so we can then identify if either needs to change. We’re working hard to keep individual customers informed about what we’re doing to resolve their complaints. And we always ask them for feedback on how we’ve dealt with their issues.
- In addition we collect and commission lots of different types of customer research, including interviewing around 200,000 of our customers every year to test communications, online services and ideas for new products, and generally find ways to improve our services and meet customers’ needs.
In 2016 we introduced some new features to MyAccount:
- Customers can now change their tariff and let us know they’re moving house online and with our app.
- We’ve made the website easier to access – for example customers who have trouble using a mouse can navigate just using a keyboard.
- We’ve also made lots of improvements for our blind and partially-sighted customers. Like changing the colour contrast between the foreground and background so it’s easier to read, and making the site more compatible with text-to-speech software that reads it out loud.
- We’ve added more information as well – smart meter customers can check details of their actual energy use online, and we’ve updated the printable tariff information labels to show the exact tariff name information. We’ve added extra questions to the new digital appointment booking so our smart meter fitters know about any special considerations (like if a customer has mobility issues) before the appointment.
- Plus, we’ve added information about the Energy Switch Guarantee which we have signed up to (a voluntary agreement between energy suppliers to follow 10 principles that make switching supplier quick, easy and safe).
- Our Talk Power programme continues to tell our large business customers about changes in the energy landscape. Through regular regional events, webinars and blogs we put them in touch with our experts, and promote networking and idea sharing. Have a look at edfenergy.com/talk-power to find out more.
- We’ve improved our Market Insight service (which gives our larger EDF Energy business customers access to data and analysis) by adding TRIAD alerts to help them reduce their energy consumption, including a probability report and savings calculator.