EON may well be one of the UK's largest energy companies, but that doesn't mean its customers are happy with what they're getting. Prices, billing and account management, are just some things that are damaging the customer's experience. Find out what EON customers think about this enduring energy giant.
EON reviews: An overview
Consumer review websites reveal that EON customers are generally unhappy with the services they're receiving. A whopping 82% of the 2,476 published reviews rated them as "bad" in Trustpilot.
The latest Which? survey also gave them a paltry three-star rating across each category under the "customer service" umbrella. These ratings and reviews show that EON does not fall short in just one or two areas. It's falling below expected standards on many fronts. How many? We did some digging to find out.
Top reasons for complaints to EON in 2019
According to EON's latest complaints report, the top issues its customers typically complain about are as follows:
- Customer service - 59.86%
- Bills and meter readings - 15.24%
- Payments - 10.17%
- My prices - 4.98%
- Debt and debt-related disconnections (not prepay) - 2.14%
Are these figures consistent with the published customer complaints? At Selectra, we grouped claims into each of the above categories separately, except for the "payments" and "debt" categories, which we considered together as they overlap considerably. We also assessed their complaint handling process as this appeared to be another common theme among disgruntled clients.
Below we've analysed each of the five categories that make up EON's customer experience. We've reviewed what they’re experiencing, what EON says it's doing to improve, and whether it’s putting this into practice. Is EON merely talking the talk, or is it actually walking the walk? You're about to find out.
EON customer service
Before customers can judge the quality of the response they get when they contact EON to complain, they need to receive a reply. How long is it taking them to get one? Too long, according to customer reviews. What about the answers given to complainants? Short and abrupt. Let's have a look at the experience of customers and what EON says it’s doing about it.
Response time and quality
Don't even bother calling the "customer support" team - you'll be on hold for hours, then cut off without reason. (Phil, EON customer)
Do the complaints like the one above accurately reflect EON's response time? At Selectra, we did our Mystery Shopper test to find out. We contacted them on each of their three main contact channels: by phone, live chat and via Facebook Messenger. We timed how long it took us to get in contact with an actual human being. The results are in:
- TELEPHONE: 16 minutes and 32 seconds
- LIVE CHAT: 5 minutes and 2 seconds
- FACEBOOK: Still waiting - fourteen days later!
Conclusion? If you have a complaint to make, you'll get a quicker response via their live chat. However, you won't be able to express yourself in as much detail as you otherwise could do by phone. If you want to call them, put your phone on speakerphone and go about your day until someone picks up. If you stay on the line, you could be waiting a long time on the other end.
If you're lucky enough to get through, don’t expect a precise answer to your question.
Even when I get connected, many agents put me on hold and eventually hang up on me, or some took my number and promised they would call me back, but I never received their call". (Grace, EON Customer)
What's EON doing about this?
EON claims on its customer reporting page to have recruited more staff in its contact centres. It goes on to emphasise that responding to “customers' queries in a timely manner continues to be a focus". If by "timely manner" they mean putting the customer through to a staff member rather than leaving them on hold for an obscene length of time, that would be a good start!
Bills and meter readings
'Bills and meter readings' was the second most common category that EON customers complain about according to the supplier's latest customer complaints report. By looking at customer review websites, we would consider this to be the most common issue behind customers' gripes. Let's break down this category to find out what its clients are unhappy about:
Inaccurate smart meters: Customers have reported that their energy usage, as displayed on the smart meter, is far in excess of actual reported usage. One customer reported a discrepancy of 36 kWh between what was shown (33 kWh) and what was actually consumed (3 kWh). Such inaccuracy undoubtedly leads to a much more expensive bill than expected, one that customers are not happy to pay.
Final bills when moving home: EON seems to be quick to take a last meter reading to collect money from its customers. The problem, however, is that they're just as quick to forget that they've done this. The recurring amnesia suffered by their collection agents causes them to collect money again... and again.
I moved out of my recent place and called them for my FINAL bills. I paid upfront and decided to continue my contract with them at my new home. Two days later, a customer assistant called me asking that I pay £86 that's outstanding... after I paid my FINAL BILL. (Ella, Eon customer)
What's EON doing to fix this?
EON openly admits on its website that it has "been unsuccessful in obtaining meter readings for some time". However, it goes on to say that its smart meter roll-out allows them to correct this. Only time will tell if the number of complaints regarding inaccurate billing goes down as more households get a smart meter installed. As the roll-out is a prolonged process, we can still expect many more gripes about this heading EON's way.
Payments and debt
EON has distinguished between the categories regarding payments, accounting for 10.17% of complaints, and customer's falling into debt, accounting for 2.14% of them. Since failure to facilitate payments of accurate bills invariably leads to debt or at least a debit on the account, we've put these in the same category.
I told them to cancel my direct debit due to an increase in my tariff, which I didn't agree to. This put me into debt, which has now affected my credit score. Now I've got a debt collection company after me!" (Keeney, EON customer)
You'll note from the above comment that inaccurate billing, as detailed in the previous category, directly overlaps with the debt category. If customers are overcharged, they'll have a debit on their account. If they're paying more for fuel than they can afford, that puts them in the fuel poor category.
What's EON doing to fix this?
As detailed in our main EON guide, we set out the number of ways that EON boasts in "helping" its customers who are struggling to pay. These include the Warm Home Discount, EON Energy Fund and Affordable Warmth Scheme. These all sound like lovely philanthropic gestures, but amount to very little if EON is directly causing its customers to fall into debt in the first place.
So what does EON say it's doing to fix this problem? Very little, unfortunately. Its complaints reporting webpage is littered with empty phrases that don't point to any tangible solutions:
It is a key focus for us to work with customers to agree on affordable and sustainable payment arrangements. (EON representative)
Tariffs and Prices
Value for money is not one of EON's strong points. As you will have seen from our EON Tariffs guide, their standard tariff is more expensive than Ofgem's price cap. The most common complaints about EON are about making bill payments and being on the right tariff.
Few customers seem to know what tariff they're on, particularly if they've been mis-sold one that they didn't want. EON is no stranger to the court's wrath against its mis-selling practices, as we saw back in 2014. Victims alleged that EON's door-to-door salespeople over-inflated the savings they'd get by switching to them.
Twelve million pounds in compensation was the slap on the face that the supplier received. While EON appears to have curbed this practice, customers are still bewildered why their bills seem to go up drastically and unexpectedly, despite consistent energy usage.
I was only with EON for three months. I paid my monthly direct debit of £78 for two months, then switched to another company and now I have got a bill for £264 and a threat of debt collectors. (Debbie, Eon customer)
What's EON doing to fix this?
EON claims in its website to have launched its new Secure Bill tariff, which "fixes customers Direct Debit payments for the next 12 months, meaning ...Your payments won't change, no matter how much energy you use."
Unfortunately, this isn't what customers are saying in consumer review websites. Quite the opposite. To add insult to injury, while EON promotes its Economy 7 tariff for those who want a day and night rate, some of its customers are still being billed at a flat rate:
They told us we would have a two-rate tariff as we have an Economy 7 heater. This was not the case and when we discussed this later as our bill was hundreds of pounds higher than expected... Very little effort to help and, after hours on the phone getting nowhere, I was given £10 compensation, but I’m still hundreds out of pocket. Avoid... Much cheaper elsewhere. (Alex, Eon customer)
As of July 2018, EON is required, like its competitors, to publish residential-customer complaints data. According to EON's 2019 Q2 quarterly report, we can see improvements (highlighted in green) and deteriorations (highlighted in red) compared to the previous quarter.
Complaints data from EON
|Complaints data||Q1 2019||Q2 2019|
|Number of complaints opened per 100,000 customers||3,079||778|
|% of complaints resolved in less than a day||76%||72.21%|
|% of complaints resolved within 8 weeks||95%||93.68%|
EON has received 22,374 fewer complaints from the first to the second quarter of 2019.
EON is resolving fewer complaints by the end of the next working day and by the period of eight weeks, from which point the customer can escalate its claim to the Energy Ombudsman.
EON's complaints procedure
EON sets out its complaints-handling process on its website. Accordingly, if the complaint can't be resolved on the same day, it is passed on to a Resolution Manager. This person is supposed to carry out an internal review of the case while keeping the complainant informed of the next steps to be taken and the time-frame for a final decision.
This all sounds lovely on paper, but in reality, customers are not receiving this level of communication. Instead, after one day without a resolution, there appears to be no contact from EON. Has the complaint really been passed to the Resolution Manager? Does this person even exist? We don't know. What we do know, however, is that an increasing number of EON complainants are feeling frustrated from the lack of response received post complaint.
Complaint unresolved since 2017. After contacting different customer service agents, one finally replied. After exchanging many emails, they agreed months later to send a technician to my home… He said he would pass on the findings to EON. I have waited nearly half a year, and I still have not received a reply (Grace, Eon customer)
What's EON doing to fix this?
EON has set out a clear complaints procedure. The problem, however, is that they're not consistently complying with it. This may be down to a few "rotten apples" among their staff who are failing to pass it on.
Perhaps the complaint has indeed been passed on to a Resolution Manager, but the latter fails to conduct an internal review. At the very worst, there may be a complete lack of internal compliance to ensure that EON's staff are following the correct complaints procedure.
According to a comment made by EON's customer agent, it appears that updating the customer within set time frames is not a priority. Instead, it is assumed that the customer is happy to be kept in limbo for eight weeks, after which the customer "ought to know" that he/she can escalate the complaint to the Ombudsman:
If the claim is over 56 days old, which it sounds like it is, you'll be able to go the Ombudsman straightaway. No need to wait for a letter. (Helena, Customer Complaints agent with EON)
What to do if you've not received a response after eight weeks
At Selectra we recommend that you make a note in your calendar of the date you submitted your complaint. Set yourself a reminder after eight weeks to escalate it to the Ombudsman. Don't wait longer than you have to. EON may well have forgotten about it and have no intention of keeping you updated.
You can pass your complaint to the Ombudsman, who will carry out an independent investigation. Any decision taken by the Ombudsman that you accept is binding on EON. Find their contact details below:
- Tel: 0330 440 1624
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Web: os-energy.org
- Post: PO Box 966, Warrington, WA4 9DF
Good to know: To make a complaint to EON, find the details of their complaints department on our EON Contact guide.
EON Reviews: The Verdict
Based on EON customer reviews on Trustpilot, Which?, Google, and our interactions with the supplier, we give the provider 2 / 5 stars for overall customer satisfaction.
EON: Customer review score - ★★