Although it is the smallest energy firm in the UK, Spark Energy is getting a lot of complaints. The company has been reported to be the energy regulator due to the high volume of complaints that it has received.
Consumer Futures, formerly Consumer Focus, brought the referral and Ofgem is yet to decide whether a full investigation will take place. Many complained about difficulty in switching from the firm and poor customer service.
Landlords and Estate agents favour Spark Energy, and tenants get automatically signed up whenever they move into a rented house. Most of the complainants are tenants who have tried to move away from the company, but in vain.
Issues of improper meter readings and wrongful billing are some of the matters being discussed. The online payments system is flawed and there are delays in issuing refunds on in-credit accounts.
The spokesperson for Consumer futures, Ann Gill says that they are concerned about then complaints, poor billing practices, failure of customer services, and the difficulty of switching to other suppliers. Sparks Energy may have over-stretched itself, despite having the lowest tariffs on the market.
The company was referred to Ofgem, by Consumer Futures, after it and Citizens Advise went through the complaints lodged by consumers. The BBC aired a report, last month, of several dissatisfied customers complaining after being automatically signed up to Spark Energy. The consumers were then unable to move to other suppliers after being locked up in a supply contract.
There is no time frame for a full investigation, even as Ofgem tries to work through these cases. Ofgem spokesperson, Lisa O’Brien, says that they are looking into the letting agreements, to determine the source of consumer complaints.
Kris Jakobsen, the director of sales and marketing for Spark Energy, says that with over 300,000 customers, it is normal to have complaints. He says that the company is working hard to ensure that these complaints are reduced. The company is working with consumer organisations and regulators to bring these complaints down.