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Energy Customer Left on Hold for an Average of Almost 7 Minutes by Suppliers

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Energy suppliers keep their customers on hold over the phone for an average of six minutes and 50 seconds, according to Which?.

The consumer watchdog analysed call waiting times for 36 energy suppliers in the UK, involving 432 calls. It found there was a huge variation in waiting times between suppliers, from under a minute to over half an hour.

The company with the shortest waiting times was small supplier So Energy, at an average of just 38 seconds. In contrast, the supplier with the longest average waiting times was Big Six firm Scottish Power, who kept their customers on hold for an average of 21 minutes and 24 seconds.

A spokesperson for Scottish Power said: “Nobody wants to be at the bottom of this type of list and we’re already working hard to regain our top spot.”

However, the longest single waiting time was with challenger supplier Bulb Energy, at 41 minutes and 48 seconds. The renewable energy supplier, one of the fastest-growing energy firms in the UK, had an average waiting time of just over 19 minutes, just slightly shorter than at Scottish Power.

“Growing quickly has brought challenges,” said Bulb.

Out of the Big Six, the supplier found to have the shortest waiting times for calls was EDF Energy, who answered the phone at an average of just three minutes and two seconds.

“Energy customers should be able to expect good customer service from their supplier, so it is unacceptable that some people are facing waits of half an hour or more just to speak with an adviser,” said Natalie Hitchins, head of home products and services at Which?.

“If you are tired of poor customer service and wasted time on the phone, then you should switch to a provider that can better meet your needs, and potentially save you hundreds of pounds.”

Fergus Cole
Fergus Cole

Fergus is a journalist specialising in the personal finance, energy and broadband sectors. He also has a passion for travel and adventure so tries to make the most of this in any spare time he gets.

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