Ebico Reviews: Was it a good energy company?
A not-for-profit, ethically conscious energy supplier, Ebico wasn't your stereotypical provider. So how did Ebico measure up in terms of customer service? Was its ultimate failure apparent to customers? Let’s break down Ebico reviews to find out.
Ebico customers have been transferred to British Gas. Ebico was supplied by Robin Hood Energy under a ‘while-label’ agreement. In September 2020, Robin Hood sold its customer base (including Ebico customers) to British Gas.
Ebico Reviews: An Overview
We analysed former Ebico reviews from Truspilot, Which? and Citiens Advice to see if we could find out what led to the supplier ultimately closing. In this guide, we've broken down the Ebico reviews into the following categories:
- Customer service
- Value for money
- Billing and account management
Ebico Customer Service Reviews
After prices and tariffs, customer service is probably the most important factor to consider when looking at switching energy providers. It determines how you will be treated, how your problems will be dealt with, how quickly your emails will be responded to and your phone calls answered. If a supplier performs poorly across these areas, it will leave extremely unhappy and unsatisfied customers.
So what do Ebico reviews reveal about its customer service? There’s been quite a mix of opinion online regarding Ebico’s customer service. Up until Spring 2020, it was common for customers to report that the supplier had ‘excellent customer service’ with helpful and friendly call agents that sorted their issues promptly and professionally.
In Which?’s annual customer satisfaction survey, it was common for Ebico to excel in the customer service category as well. The supplier often scored around four out of five stars for phone customer service. In online customer service, Ebico even received a perfect score of five out of five stars in 2018.
Excellent customer service, polite, helpful and (a) pleasure to speak to over the phone. Trustpilot review
Ebico Energy reviews took a sour turn in the first half of 2020, with the statements becoming increasingly negative. Customer claimed the service was not only inefficient, but that the call agents were also rude and unhelpful. Many also complained of waiting a long time for their call to be picked up and not receiving an email reply for months on end.
Impossible to get a simple enough, recurring problem sorted with their useless customer services, many phone calls, wasted hours of my time. Trustpilot review
According to research carried out by Which?, Ebico had an average call-wait time of 3.78 minutes, which placed it in the middle of the pack. Unfortunately for former Ebico customers, the newly appointed supplier (British Gas) is known for having extremely long call-wait times. If you're looking for the fastest way to get in touch with your new supplier, head to our British Gas contact page.
Value for Money Reviews
Much like customer service, Ebico reviews for its prices were quite mixed. Some customers considered the supplier to be great value for money and applauded its reasonable pricing. On Which?, Ebico even received a full five stars for value for money. Meanwhile, other customers complained about substantial price increases that made their tariffs expensive.
Let’s point out that value for money does not necessarily mean cheap prices. Value equates to the quality of service you receive for the amount you pay. In the case of Ebico, customers got 100% renewable electricity. Moreover, some customers simply loved that it was a not-for-profit company and they were willing to pay a bit more for an ethical supplier.
Very happy with Ebico’s services and prices. Much cheaper than all of the larger gas and electricity suppliers. Even better that they are a not-for-profit organisation so no shareholders to pay. Trustpilot review
Ebico styled itself as an alternative to the Big Six, offering economical tariffs to help those struggling to pay their energy bills. However, from our own research, we’ve found that it was far from the cheapest option on the market (Bulb Energy, Octopus Energy and Together Energy, for example, all had cheaper variable tariffs).
Additionally, some customers saw two significant price increases. The first took place when Ebico got rid of its zero standing charge variable tariff and moved all customers onto its standard tariff. The second was when it increased the price of this tariff by £169 in April 2019. This latter rise saw customer bills increase by 16%, so it's not really a surprise that they were annoyed.
Originally had a fair price, not the cheapest on the market but reasonable. However, then hiked their prices to double what I was paying, with no real explanation. Ruth
Unfortunately, British Gas is known for having expensive tariffs, with its standard tariff almost always reaching the maximum price cap. To avoid paying such expensive rates, you'll either need to sign up for one of the more affordable British Gas tariffs or switch your energy supplier entirely.
For a more detailed analysis of Ebico’s tariffs, as well as to find out what's happened to your tariff since the supplier closed, check out our dedicated Ebico tariffs guide.
Billing & Account Management Reviews
Another important factor of an energy supplier is providing accurate, clear bills, and having a user-friendly website and online account service. Website and online account wise, Ebico Energy reviews were full of praise. Billing wise, they were quite mixed.
Since 2017, Robin Hood Energy was responsible for all of Ebico’s energy account management services, including readings customer’s meters, creating and sending customers their bills, and dealing with payments.
Website & Online Account Reviews
The majority of customers noted that the Ebico website was easy and simple to use. From our own experience, we can attest to this. The website was logically laid out, making it easy to find the information you’re looking for.
Ebico’s online account service was also straightforward, user-friendly and the login process took seconds.
In Which?’s annual survey, Ebico achieved 4/5 for both bill accuracy and bill clarity. As Robin Hood was in charge of this aspect of Ebico’s services, Citizens Advice reviewed the two companies together in this area, giving them an overall score of 3/5 stars, with 94.8% of customers receiving at least one accurate bill during a year, and 85.9% stating their bills arrived on time. These are not bad scores, although they do imply that Ebico could have improved in its billing process.
Used to be good till they moved to Robin Hood. I give readings but they still send me estimated bills so they can overcharge me. Bills arrive a week after the pay by date.Anonymous customer
A lot of Ebico reviews reported that the billing service started going downhill when the supplier partnered with Robin Hood Energy. Since the change, customers reported receiving more incorrect bills, the suggestion being that Robin Hood Energy used estimated meter readings instead of accurate submitted readings to calculate the bills. In fact, nearly half of all complaints filed from July to September 2019 were focused on billing and meter reading services.
How well did Ebico handle complaints?
All energy suppliers receive complaints. How quickly they resolve these complaints can be a good indication of the quality of their customer service.
Unfortunately, we could not find any recent Ebico complaints handling reports online. The latest one we could track down was the 2015 report, which is a bit outdated. We did, however, manage to get some figures from Which? regarding how efficient the company is at resolving complaints.
According to Which?, in the second half of 2018 Ebico managed to solve 24% of the complaints it received by the end of the next working day and 57% within eight weeks.
|Time frame||% solved by end of next working day||% solved within 8 weeks|
|Second half of 2018||24%||57%|
These are quite appalling figures. We are particularly unimpressed by 57% solved within eight weeks. Eight weeks is the timeframe set by the energy ombudsman in which suppliers should resolve complaints. With Ebico only solving 57% in this time, it hints at a very inefficient complaints handling service and a number of dissatisfied customers with unresolved issues.
The verdict: Was Ebico a good company?
|Medium to high scores on review sites||Poor performance in billing (inaccurate bills)|
|User-friendly website and online account||Inefficient at handling complaints|
|Supported community projects||Sold customers to British Gas|
Ebico reviews originally pointed to a decent energy supplier that provided a satisfactory service to its customers. Unfortunately, the number of negative Ebico reviews significantly increased since its partnership with Robin Hood Energy began.
Billing was the most obvious problem area. As we’ve mentioned, Robin Hood Energy was responsible for providing this service. Initially, these problems could have been placed on the teething issues that come with adapting to a new licensed supplier. However, they were never fully resolved and eventually contributed to Robin Hood selling all customers to British Gas.
Want to see how customers review the newly appointed supplier, British Gas? Head to our British Gas reviews guide to find out.