Npower Reviews: Customer Ratings & Rankings
One of the biggest reasons for Npower’s downfall is its plummeting customer reviews. As its reputation has continued to spiral downwards, customers have been leaving in droves. We give you the latest Npower reviews, which reveal the supplier’s weakest points that have got its customers in a huff. Find out here how Npower has been reviewed, rated and ranked by the masses.
Npower Reviews: An Overview
We investigated Npower reviews and ratings published on two of the biggest customer review websites: Trustpilot and Which?. Overall, of the 1,994 reviews published, 92% of customers rated Npower’s service as “poor” while only 3% rated them “excellent”. The latest Which? survey gave them a more favourable score of 54%.
Once Npower is absorbed by Eon following their upcoming merger, the Big Six will become the Big Five. It’s worth noting that none of the remaining energy giants performs better in customer service compared to smaller independent competitors. Ovo Energy, for example, scores an impressive 4/5 and Tonik Energy an even higher 5/5 stars.
We’ve pooled the most common themes that have been the subject of most complaints made of Npower. Everything from prices and billing to account management is covered, so you can get a good idea of what Npower is doing well and where it’s failing.
Npower Customer Service
Npower has an extensive contact page to help customers and non-customers alike to get in touch with them if they have a query. But do their contact channels lead to a satisfactory response? If so, how long does this take? We did some digging to find out.
Many Npower reviews left by customers cited poor customer service as the source of their furore. While it may be easy to call Npower, it’s not so easy to get a response. Customers often left messages requesting a callback but never had their calls returned.
They leave voicemails asking to call them to discuss the account, so you call them back, wait on hold for ages only to be hung up on. (Michael, Npower customer)
Similarly, customers wanting to make some basic changes to their account details were left hanging in the air without their request being implemented until much later on.
It took me nearly ayear to change the details into my name from ‘The Occupier’” (Han, Npower customer)
It’s worth noting that most of the one-star Npower reviews left by disgruntled customers touched upon its ailing customer service. The highest rating we saw for its phone and online customer service was just two stars.
At Selectra we wanted to put this to the test, so we posed as a mystery shopper and called their general enquiries line with a question for them. We had to wait over 20 minutes to be put through to a human who could resolve our query! We found that this was a long time to be placed on hold and could imagine a customer’s frustration in our position.
Our impression of Npower’s customer service didn’t get much better when we called them on a different day with another question. That time we were kept waiting for 14 minutes, but were bounced around from department to department until somebody could answer our query. We were transferred to three different departments before we got through to the most appropriate customer service agent from Npower.
It can be incredibly frustrating to be left on hold and transferred from one department to another. See our Npower Contact guide to ensure you go through the right channel to get your query sorted.
Tariffs and Prices
Npower certainly talks the talk when it comes to offering a plethora of tariffs and rates. We’ve listed them all for you in our Npower Tariffs guide. But does Npower walk the walk once they’ve managed to hook the customer into signing up? We did some excavating among Npower’s reviews to find out.
The latest published reviews revealed that most customers rated Npower as offering poor value for money. It got a paltry 2 / 5 stars for this category, as did its Big Five cousin British Gas. In fact, 58% of ex-customers said that this was among their top three reasons for switching to another supplier.
So I got an online quote for Broker Exclusive Fix August 2019 and they have been charging me for Exclusive Fix August 2019” (Claire-Ann, Npower customer)
Npower reviews published on Trustpilot certainly confirmed this trend. The most common complaint was the big discrepancy between the figures they got from Npower’s online quote, on which they based their decision to switch, and what they were actually billed.
It appears that while Npower’s tariff page may be tantalising, expectations don’t live up to reality once the customer has signed up and receives their bill.
Bills and Account Management
Npower reviews from customers who voiced their qualms on Trustpilot often quoted incorrect billing as the source of their gripe. This tallies well with the Which? survey, which gave Npower a miserable 2 / 5 stars for bill accuracy and bill clarity. At Selectra we wanted to find out from Npower customers why and how the failing supplier is getting itself into a muddle with its figures!
If we went at great length to highlight the benefits of having a smart meter installed while having a direct debit as your payment method, it was for good reason! These are the two pillars of accurate account management. Accurate billing and ease of payment should eliminate any uncertainties. How, then, can Npower still get customers’ bills wrong, even when they have smart meters installed while on direct debit?
NPower didn't raise a statement for 10 months after I joined them, despite submitting meter readings religiously on time every month. Now we finally have a statement, but they have based it on estimated meter readings.” (Michael, Npower customer)
To rub salt into the wound, when Npower outsources its debt collection to Wescot Credit Services Ltd, neither company bothers to ensure that the demand for payment contains a start and end date of the purported debt.
On the Wescot letter – there is no “supply start date” and no “supply end date” – very questionable. How can they (demand) money and yet not even tell me the period it is for?” (Steve, Npower customer)
To sum up, the most frequent complaints were centred on the following issues concerning billing and account management:
- Final bills well in excess of customer’s average payments when they want to move house.
- Estimated billing despite customers having a smart meter or having submitted regular meter readings.
- Long delays in making changes to customers’ account details.
Between 1 October 2017 and 30 September 2018, Npower received 214,439 complaints from residential customers according to its own complaints report. A large proportion of these was escalated to the Energy Ombudsman, which is the last step toward resolution. Npower claims to resolve complaints on the same or the next working day. Why, then, are so many complainants taking their greivance to a higher authority? We did some investigating.
Npower lays out in a PDF document describing its complaints handling procedure, but the problem is that it’s seldom adhered to! It’s no surprise, then, that many published comments from Npower customers mention having referred their complaint to the Ombudsman. This also explains why the latest Which? survey awarded Npower 2 / 5 stars for complaints handling.
You would be forgiven for assuming that Npower’s complaints handling wasn’t always as bad as it is now. The reality is that the supplier has a long history of underperformance in this area. In 2011, Ofgem found that Npower failed to record all the required details of complaints it received. This constituted a breach of the CHSR. As a result of Npower’s failures, Ofgem found that “Npower did not receive, handle and process complaints in an efficient and timely manner…” For this breach, Npower got more than just a slap on the wrist - it was handed a financial penalty of £2 million. Ouch!
Npower reviews: The verdict
We awarded Npower a generous 2 / 5 stars for its customer reviews score. We calculated this taking into account the rating given by the following review sites, which rated Npower using a scale of 1 - 5 stars:
|Authority||Rating (out of five stars)|
We also took into account the following:
|Npower’s proactive programme in rolling out smart meters.||Its lacking referral scheme for customers.|
|Its easy to use mobile app, available for download on the App Store and Google Play.||Its price policy of switching rolled-over contracts onto the more expensive variable tariff.|
|Npower’s offer of home energy efficiency products.||Its tariff prices which exceed the market average.|
What we thought had let Npower down the most was its poor account management. There is no excuse for Npower to bill its customers incorrectly when meter readings are sent to them either digitally via a smart meter, or via regularly submitted meter readings.
Customers have clearly lost trust in their supplier that is unable to regulate its customers’ payments. If this stems from an ineffective internal billing system, which we believe lies at the heart of the problem, then Npower ought to redress this as soon as possible. To continue to ignore this issue would only see its customer reviews plummet even further.
Npower: Customer review score - ★★
Want to know more about Npower as a whole? Head to our complete Npower guide to find out everything you want to know.