Poor customer service is causing increasing stress and hardship for people in the United Kingdom. Npower’s record £26million fine handed down by the energy ombudsman OFGEM for failing to deal with customer complaints properly is the latest example of the gulf in customer service standards between responsible companies and companies operating with their profit margins rather than customer needs at the heart of their processes.
Many Npower customers have seen their complaints mishandled or left without response for two years or more. Customers have been threatened with debt collection notices or prosecution for failing to pay incorrect bills and worse. For many, Citizens Advice have been able to act on their behalf but report that Npower are developing a reputation for failing to complete their requirements before issuing a ‘deadlock’ letter as they attempt to comply with the ombudsman’s demand that they reduce the number of outstanding complaints. This is causing further hardship for customers. Many are now expected to seek a solicitor and sue for compensation after the Ombudsman hears their case.
A solicitor in Northampton recently helped one angry customer sue Npower for £3000 in compensation. Customers in North London might turn to a solicitors in Barnet for guidance and council to see if they are able to claim compensation for stress, time wasted due to Npower’s mistakes and any other recompense caused by the problems at their customer service call centre.
For businesses using call centres for inbound calls, the skills are very different to call centres such as Npower. One of the main concerns for people dealing with ongoing complaints is that it is almost impossible to get through to the same person twice. For a company outsourcing telephone answering, this is something important to contain. A reputable call answering service in London would assign a dedicated call handler to a small business to make sure customers can always reach the same person.
As part of an on-going PR campaign to repair their damaged reputation, Npower are writing to customers and have been ordered to offer compensation by the ombudsman to those worst affected. For those people, receiving regular Npower branded envelopes alongside the usual letterbox leaflets is likely to cause more stress when they are used to receiving incorrect bills. Npower will also be looking at SEO Services to help repair their damage online with so many news reports about their failures.
Doctors are almost as under pressure as Npower though for very difference reasons. Whilst the Government plan to crack down on no-win-no-fee legal cases or campaigns to sue former servicemen for actions taken at war, there is an increase in television and online marketing campaigns by solicitors to sue for injuries or compensation claims against doctors. Many NHS Trusts are suspending doctors as investigations take place. NHS Suspensions huge strains on health services and causes untold damage to doctors. Doctors’ support groups are growing in numbers and needs.