Shell Energy Reviews: Customer Reviews & Scores
Shell Energy is a medium-sized energy supplier with 100% renewable electricity tariffs and lots of energy-saving technology for customers to buy for their households. Its green credentials seem good, but how does it measure up for customer service, value for money and complaints handling? Let’s take a look at Shell Energy reviews to find out.
Shell Energy reviews: from customer service to billing
Customer service, value for money and billing are all important things to bear in mind when considering switching energy providers. For example, do you want top-notch customer service or is an economical tariff more important? Here we break down Shell Energy reviews to help you weigh up these different factors.
In March 2019, First Utility rebranded to become Shell Energy. This was just a name change, meaning all tariffs, prices, billing systems and even customer service agents stayed the same. This means older First Utility reviews are also relevant to a Shell Energy review.
A major part of any energy company is its customer service. This refers to the helpfulness of call agents when customers ring with questions or problems, the user-friendliness of the website so customers can find what they are looking for, and also the amount of time the company takes to answer the phone and respond to emails.
Shell Energy reviews regarding customer service are quite mixed. Some customers praise it, stating the call centre staff are very efficient and helpful, and the website is easy to use. Conversely, others go as far as to say that the service is so bad, it’s basically ‘non existent’.
Despite these mixed comments, the reviews show that overall, more customers have had a positive experience than a negative one. In Which?’s annual customer satisfaction survey, customers awarded Shell Energy four out of five stars for both phone and online customer service. In Shell Energy reviews left online, the majority of customers report professional service.
Absolutely brilliant service today, every question I had was promptly and professionally dealt with. Paul
However, a trend we did notice in Shell Energy reviews was customers waiting a long time for the supplier to answer the phone. In fact, according to Citizens Advice, Shell Energy has an average call wait time of five minutes and 45 seconds. This is pretty slow - a number of other companies answer in less than one minute. Even all of the Big Six companies report faster average call wait times than Shell.
Even worse for Shell Energy, while over five minutes is quite slow, a number of Shell Energy reviews mention longer wait times again!
Trying to contact them is...a very time consuming and frustrating experience: 20 minutes to obtain a reply on my first call; over 40 minutes in a second call on which I gave up. Anonymous customer
While the actual customer service provided by call agents appears adequate and satisfactory, Shell Energy is definitely not the easiest or fastest supplier to contact by phone.
Value for money
Again, Shell Energy reviews are a bit mixed money wise. In Which’s survey, customers gave the supplier four out of five stars for value for money, with 78% rating it ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ in this area. A number of customers online also report saving money with Shell and note that tariffs are reasonably priced, especially for the 100% renewable electricity they include.
What tariffs does Shell Energy offer? Find out current tariff details and prices in our Shell Energy tariffs guide.
In our own investigation into Shell’s prices, we found that it’s variable standard tariff comes in around £48 under Ofgem’s energy price cap. Compared to other providers, this is pretty middle of the range, making it cheaper than some of the Big Six but more expensive than a number of other medium sized companies, such as Octopus Energy.
Despite this, according to Shell Energy reviews, some customers have not been happy with the price of their bills. The principal complaint is focused on bills increasing when First Utility rebranded to Shell Energy in March 2019.
In reality, bills should not have changed as tariffs and prices were all kept the same after the rebranding, but with a number of customers reporting the same problem, it implies some truth to the tale. It could be that while Shell has not changed its pricing, it could have altered direct debit estimates and estimated meter readings, causing customers' bills to increase slightly. Either way, bills should not have changed that dramatically so we can’t really explain why some customers have reported big increases.
In general, most Shell Energy reviews report happy customers in relation to price. It’s not the cheapest provider, but the majority of customers still consider it a good value for money.
Like customer service and value for money, Shell Energy performs well for billing in Which’s annual survey, receiving four out of five stars for both bill clarity and bill accuracy. According to Which?, 88% of customers rated the supplier as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ for bill accuracy and 82% stated it was ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ for bill clarity.
There has not been any problem with my energy supply or bills. Roseline
Continuing the praise, Citizens Advice awarded the supplier fourstars in this area, reporting 92% of customers received at least one accurate bill a year and 99.4% received their bills on time. Shell Energy reviews online also report a positive experience with billing.
However, taking all of that into account, billing has been one of the biggest reasons for complaints to Shell in the past. Shell has stated that this is because its bills can be a bit complicated to read and it’s continuously working to make them simpler and more user friendly. This is reflected in a number of Shell Energy reviews, but not many. If customers are complaining about billing, they do not seem to be sharing this dissatisfaction online.
When conducting a review analysis of an energy supplier, we do not usually include smart meters as a separate section. However, when reading Shell Energy reviews online, we found a great number of customers report difficulties with their smart meters, so felt the need to mention it here.
Problems focus on smart meters fitted by other companies not functioning with Shell’s systems and generally Shell Energy smart meters not working correctly. If correct readings are not being transmitted, this could explain some of the issues Shell has with billing.
Flipping useless! I had a smart meter installed almost 7 months ago which doesn't even work! Anonymous customer
As the government continues its smart meter roll out scheme and encourages consumers to fit one in their household, we hope Shell can sort out these problems soon!
If you’re thinking of switching to Shell Energy and already have a smart meter, it’s worth checking if the supplier can support your smart meter before making the decision.
Shell Energy reviews: complaints
Having your complaint handled efficiently and professionally (if you ever have to make one) is another thing you want from your energy supplier. Therefore, the next step in our Shell Energy review is taking a look at its complaints data. The supplier aims to resolve complaints as quickly as possible, ideally the first time a customer reaches out. If this is not possible, it tries to resolve the issue in ten working days.
In the table below we have listed the company’s own data to see how it fares in light of these deadlines.
% of complaints solved by
end of next working day
% of complaints solved
within 8 weeks
|January - March 2019||
|April - June 2019||
|July - September 2019||
As you can see from this data, Shell Energy seems to be on a bit of downward trend in 2019 regarding its speed in resolving complaints. However, it remains fairly efficient and resolves the majority of complaints within eight weeks. We cannot see from this data what percentage gets solved within ten days, but it does show that the supplier is quite successful at solving a fair amount of complaints by the end of the next working day.
Need to complain to Shell Energy? Find out more about the process and the relevant contact details in Selectra’s Shell Energy contact page.
Unfortunately, that’s the end of the good news in the area of complaints for Shell Energy. According to figures from Ofgem, from April 2018 to September 2019, the supplier received the biggest number of complaints per 100,000 customers compared to seven other similarly sized providers (Ovo Energy, Utilita, Co-operative Energy, Utility Warehouse, Octopus Energy, Bulb and Avro Energy).
Shell Energy does not provide information about the highest driver for complaints for this given period, but data from the Energy Ombudsman can give us some hints.
From January to September 2019, the biggest reason for Shell Energy complaints taken to the Energy Ombudsman was billing, particularly disputed gas/electricity usage, disputed account balance and delays in billing. Smart meters also featured as one of the top complaint types, backing up negative Shell Energy reviews we found online about problems with smart meter functionality.
Shell Energy reviews: the app
The Shell Energy app is available for both Apple and Android devices from the App store and Google play store respectively. Bad news for Shell - it does rank very highly on either.
On Google Play, Shell Energy reviews give the app just 1.6 out of five. On the App store it doesn’t fare much better, with a poor two out of five rating. Users appear disappointed with the app stating it has very limited features and is a bit useless.
For a detailed description of what you can do on the Shell app, as well as other ways to manage your Shell Energy account, check out our Shell Energy Login page.
This version of the app was introduced when First Utility rebranded to Shell, and many users comment that the old version under First Utility was much better. Many also note frustration at not being informed that this new Shell version was available, so there appears to be a bit of lack of communication on Shell’s part.
Shell Energy reviews: the view on review sites
Online reviews sites are the best place to find Shell Energy reviews by both past and present customers. On these sites, Shell performs quite averagely.
On Trustpilot, the supplier has an overall rating of 3.7/5, which equates to average on the site’s scoring system. While more customers praise the company than complain about it, Shell Energy reviews on the site are quite mixed.
This contradiction of experience is also reflected in Which’s annual survey, with the supplier achieving a customer review score of 66% and coming in 16th out of 30 providers. While these scores suggest more customers have positive Shell Energy reviews than negative ones, it still implies that a number of customers are dissatisfied with aspects of the supplier’s service.
An area of particular disappointment on Which? was ‘helping customers understand and reduce their energy usage’, with the supplier getting just three out of five stars for this. For a company that has a 100% renewable electricity fuel mix and sells a number of energy-saving technologies, this is an area it can definitely improve on to boost its green credentials and improve its consumer experience.
|Most customers report efficient and helpful customer service||Problems with smart meter functionality and billing|
|Majority of customers consider it good value for money||Long call wait times|
Overall, Shell Energy reviews are very mixed and varied. What we can gather is Shell Energy clearly has some issues with its smart meters and billing, and can definitely improve its call wait time. We can also say that while reviews are mixed, more customers report a positive customer service experience than a negative one, and more customers consider it to be reasonably priced than too expensive.
It is pretty efficient at handling complaints, but it also receives more complaints than a lot of other medium-sized suppliers, which sort of overshadows its efficiency in this area.
The supplier’s app has also not been well received and is a clear aspect Shell can try to better for its customers.
Drawing on all these factors, we can safely conclude that the supplier has obvious room for improvement across the board. This is why we award Shell a review score of 2 out 5 - not appalling but it has some work to do.
Shell Energy: reviews - ★★