Paul Clark, CEO of Charter UK, calls for energy regulators to take the lead of the FSA in their handling of complaints
"It is clear that with potential moves by the regulator Ofgem to publish complaints data for energy and electricity companies, that it is considering tighter regulation on how the industry handles complaints, in many ways not dissimilar to the FSA's approach to complaint handling. The utilities sector needs to move towards a similar approach now, analysing the root causes of complaints and investing in systems, processes and training for front-line staff before the regulators take a heavy handed approach to complaints management in the sector. Ofwat is also announcing plans to change the way water is priced to encourage the water industry to focus more on customer concerns. It is clear that the utilities sector must review how it currently handles and manages complaints.
Forward-looking utility companies could choose to look at the process improvements and regulatory changes going on in the financial services sector and use these changes as a guide. With the FSA introducing much tighter regulation with regards to complaints handling, significant investment has been put into the systems and processes involved by banks and insurers."