Utility Point reviews: Is affordable energy reliable?
Utility Point is one of the UK’s smallest and newest energy suppliers. It claims to offer clear and affordable pricing to its customers, while also providing an efficient and dedicated service. We had a look at Utility Point reviews to find out what customers really think.
Utility Point reviews have above average ratings on consumer review websites like Trustpilot, Reviews.io, and Google. As such, it’s safe to expect that Utility Point customers are generally happy with the energy provider’s service.
With a bit of digging, we were able to find out what previous and current customers actually have to say about their experiences with Utility Point. We have broken down these reviews into customer service, value for money, and billing and switching to help you decide if you would like to switch to Utility Point.
|Customer review site||Trustpilot||Feefo||Reviews.io||Energy Advise||Google reviews|
Customer Service Reviews
When it comes to Utility Point’s customer service, the reviews are pretty mixed. Some customers praised the customer service representatives for being attentive and seeming to genuinely care about the customers. However, other Utility Point reviews express customer frustration at the service being slow and unresponsive.
In Which’s 2019 survey of 88 Utility Point customers, the energy supplier was awarded a ‘good’ rating of four out of five stars for its customer service. Citizens Advice gave Utility Point three out of five stars, which is still on par with or better than most other providers.
During the first two years after Utility Point launched in late 2017, customers appeared to be generally pleased with the provider’s customer service.
“I have been with this company a year and just renewed for another. It is a very caring company and always very helpful and kind whenever I contact them. They are unlike other companies and do really seem to make the effort to help the customer.”
Unfortunately for Utility Point, we have noticed an increase in complaints regarding customer service (and specifically response times) since the start of 2020. Which? reported an average call wait time of 18 minutes and five seconds. In comparison to other suppliers, this is one of the longest wait times, and customers are becoming increasingly unhappy about it.
“The customer service is slow and generally incompetent. It takes days to get an answer and that answer is usually not what you asked for. I’m on my second year with them but will probably not renew again and will switch to a provider with better customer service.”
So why is this happening? We suspect this is due to an increase in customer base, and the customer service team has yet to expand and catch up. This is a typical challenge that many new providers face as they begin to gain customers and grow exponentially.
Value for Money Reviews
When it comes to getting cheap gas and electricity, Utility Point reviews show that the provider appears to offer some of the best prices for fixed-rate tariffs. The energy provider received four out of five stars (the highest rating given) for value for money from the customers who participated in the Which? survey.
Many customers have reported switching to Utility Point because it came up as having the cheapest energy tariff on a price-comparison site. It appears the majority of customers have benefited financially from switching, with many praising the provider for saving them a few hundred pounds a year in comparison with their previous providers.
In addition to the low gas and electricity prices, Utility Point reviews show that customers can also benefit from a rewards system that includes discounts (of up to 20% off) at selected stores and restaurants.
“We have been with Utility Point for our gas and electrics for a year now and have just renewed with them for another year which was quick and easy to do. We've had no issues with them at all and have found their low prices to be unbeatable, saving us around £400 a year.”
We hope the new trend we noticed in the reviews about the decline in the quality of customer service does not begin to outweigh Utility Point’s great prices. Even though the tariffs are cheap, customers may start to question if it’s worth the hassle of waiting almost 20 minutes on the phone to get through to a representative for help.
Billing and Switching Reviews
As with customer service and value for money, Utility Point received another four out of five stars from Which’s annual survey for both bill clarity and bill accuracy. Citizens Advice awarded Utility Point a whopping five stars for billing based on its findings that 98.8% of customers received an accurate energy bill at least once a year and that 100% of customers also reported getting those energy bills on time.
Common praise we noticed in Utility Point reviews is that customers have generally had a great first impression of the energy company. Many reviews praise the new supplier for how easy it is to switch over from a different energy provider and set up a new direct debit with Utility Point.
“Quick and easy switch from another utility company. Only been with them a month but no problems so far.”
A minor downside for some customers is the smart meter incompatibility. The company plans to fix this problem by rolling out smart meters later this year. The smart meters would automatically send accurate meter readings to Utility Point so that customers don’t have to manually provide a meter reading to ensure they receive an accurate bill.
“Switching process was simple. Communication was good with clear instructions. Saving hundreds of pounds per year. Only issue is non compatibility with smart meter but it's a small price to pay.”
A recent trend we have noticed is that customers are complaining Utility Point has increased the amount of their direct debit even though the customers reported being in credit and having the same energy usage.
“Giving me 10 days to pay a new direct debit amount, which is over double what we have been paying for ages, and we are currently in credit! And can't switch or they will charge! No idea how I'm going to pay the bills!”
It appears many customers have decided to switch gas and electricity suppliers because of these billing issues. Unfortunately, leaving Utility Point seems to create even more of a problem because the reviews show that previous customers are having to wait months for their credit to be refunded. Some customers have noticed this trend in the reviews themselves, and they are even questioning if the supplier is on the brink of going bust.
“I transferred from Utility Point more than 3 months ago. They owe me more than £500. Several promises have been made and recently a confirmation came from the complaints department that money would be returned within 5 working days plus an additional inconvenience payment. Still no refund. I am now moving on to the ombudsman.”
Utility Point Complaint Handling
If you do have to make a complaint to your electricity and gas provider, you are going to want it handled quickly and efficiently. Let’s have a look at data from Ofgem to see how well Utility Point handles customer complaints.
|Time frame||Complaints received per 10,000 customers||Percentage resolved by the next working day||Percentage resolved within eight weeks|
|July - September 2018||21||72%||100%|
|October - December 2018||42||86%||100%|
|January - March 2019||30||89%||100%|
|April - June 2019||11||84%||100%|
|July - September 2019||19||96%||100%|
In comparison to other energy providers, even other small energy companies, Utility Point has an excellent track record for handling all complaints in a timely matter.
The number of complaints the provider received during these periods was extremely low, making it much easier for the company to resolve the customers’ issues. With the recent increase in negative reviews, we suspect the percentage of complaints resolved will have decreased in the last quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.
How do you make a complaint to Utility Point?
If you have a complaint to make, we recommend calling the customer service team on 0345 557 7878. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
If you prefer to have your complaint in writing, you can email your complaint to email@example.com, or fill out an online complaint form on the website. You can locate the form by clicking on ‘Complaints’ at the bottom of the homepage under ‘Useful Links’. You can also mail a complaint to the complaints team at Utility Point Limited, Floor 7, Merck House, Seldown Road, Poole, BH15 1TW.
We found Utility Point’s complaint policy near the end of the provider’s terms and conditions. The terms say that someone will aim to respond to your complaint the same day it is made. If you’re not happy with how the complaint was handled, you can then escalate it to the internal complaints team. You can expect another response within five working days.
If you are still unsatisfied, you should then request a “deadlock letter” from Utility Point. This is written confirmation that the energy company was unable to resolve the complaint. It will provide details about how to contact the Energy Ombudsman. If Utility Point refuses to issue you a deadlock letter, you can still refer the complaint to the Energy Ombudsman after eight weeks of making it.
After analyzing Utility Point reviews on various customer review websites, we give the provider a rating of 3.5. Even though the reviews show that customers were originally pleased with the service, it’s becoming increasingly more common for customers to complain about Utility Point.
We hope this new trend of negative reviews is just a temporary bump in the road for Utility Point. The provider should be able to level back out if it invests back into its customer service in order to meet the needs of its growing consumer base. Otherwise, current customers may choose to switch to another provider that they find to be more attentive.
If you’re thinking about switching from your current supplier, but you’re not sure which energy company is best for you and your area, give us a call at Selectra on 020 3936 0059. One of our advisors will be able to assist you and make sure you get the best energy tariff for your home.