SSE throws down gauntlet to energy industry with £20 customer guarantee
05 Feb 2013
Leading UK energy supplier SSE today promises to meet a new set of customer service commitments – or give customers £20 off their next bill.
In an industry first, SSE is putting its money where its mouth is and pledging to give customers money back if it fails to live up to a new set of its own commitments which go above and beyond the existing industry-wide Guaranteed Standards. SSE’s £20 Customer Service Guarantee throws down the gauntlet to other energy suppliers to show they are equally committed to high levels of customer service.
The Guarantee is part of a new customer charter and outlines commitments to customers based on three core objectives: helping them save money, making life easier for them and helping them when they need us most. The five new clearly defined and measurable standards backed by the £20 promise include: always calling customers back when we say we will, never transferring calls more than once unless the customer agrees, and offering to find ways to save customers money on every call.
SSE has been consistently named the best in the business for customer service in independent audits.* However, the launch of the new charter and guarantee herald the start of a wider drive by SSE to go further by setting unparalleled standards of customer service, fairness and transparency.
Alistair Phillips-Davies, Deputy Chief Executive of SSE, said: “This is about more than just £20. It’s about setting ourselves ever higher standards and making ourselves fully accountable for meeting them, not just talking about them.
“We would be first to admit that we have not always lived up to customers’ expectations in the past, but we pride ourselves on being different to other energy suppliers. We have been at the forefront of progress that has already been made in the industry, moving first to simplify our tariffs, end doorstep sales and help improve competition from smaller suppliers – and where we have led, others have followed.
“But this charter and guarantee show that we want to be more than just the best of a bad bunch. We are sending a clear message to the whole of the industry: it’s time to transform for the better what customers experience when they deal with us. No-one can control how much energy is going to cost in the future, but we can control how we conduct ourselves and deal with our customers.”
Will Morris, Managing Director of Retail at SSE, added: “Since I joined SSE in September, I’ve been truly blown away by the level of commitment among colleagues right across the company to doing things better. We are already well known as number one in the industry for customer service, but this Guarantee signals that we want to consign the Big Six tag to history. I strongly believe that actions speak louder than words, and I’m looking forward to delivering on the commitments we are setting out today.”
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Notes to editors
More information is available at www.sse.co.uk/betterway. SSE’s Customer Service Guarantee and Customer Charter are available here. SSE is going above and beyond the Guaranteed Standards mandated by Ofgem. More details on the Guaranteed Standards can be found here.
SSE plc is one of the UK’s leading energy companies, involved in the generation, distribution and supply of electricity and in the extraction, storage, distribution and supply of gas. Its core purpose is to provide the energy people need in a reliable and sustainable way. It supplies energy to around 9.5 million energy and home services customers throughout Great Britain and Ireland, is frequently ranked number one for customer satisfaction* and is the UK’s leading generator of electricity from renewable sources.
Through its Building Trust campaign, SSE has led the industry by setting new standards in service, transparency and fairness. SSE was the first to simplify radically its tariffs and now offers just three; it was the first to commit to auctioning all of its power on the day ahead market to increase liquidity and improve competition; it was the first to make all of its products available through all service channels to eliminate unfair differential pricing; and it is now the first to give prepayment meter customers access to its best deals. Along with other suppliers, SSE has worked with Ofgem to increase the debt threshold at which prepayment meter customers can change supplier, giving customers in financial difficulty more flexibility to find the cheapest deal.
*uSwitch.com, Institute of Customer Service, Consumer Focus