Energy companies leave us hanging on the telephone

When you phone your energy company, you would expect them to be literally crawling up your back passage trying to please you, as you wildly scream obscenities at them.


But no – it seems that some customers are being put on hold for up to 29 MINUTES. That’s nearly half an hour of Coldplay while a monotone voice tells you that ‘all our operators are busy.’ It’s enough to make you want to rearrange their faces with an axe.

According to an investigation by those trusty consumer guardians Which!, energy companies vary widely when it comes to actually picking up the phone. NPower was the worst culprit at 29 minutes. Some companies don't even have Freephone contact numbers– with charges of 11p a minute from a landline or 40p a minute from a mobile.

Which! says no callers should be kept waiting for more than 2 minutes. But only 6 out of 16 energy suppliers in the UK had wait times of two minutes or less – including only one of the Big Six, EDF Energy.

Which! called 16 energy companies at various times of the day, and found wait times were far too long. They also found that they were quicker to pick up the phone if you were a prospective customer – rather than an existing one. (NO WAY!).

Richard Lloyd, Which executive director, said: “It’s unacceptable that some energy suppliers are leaving their customers dangling on the phone for anything up to half an hour. If energy companies want to restore trust in the industry, they must work harder to make people feel confident that customer service is a top priority, and stop putting sales over service.’


  • fibbingarchie
    It's doubly infuriating if, like me, you've got one of those old phones that runs on gas. It costs me about 12 BTUs just to make a 5 minute local call.
  • Fat H.
    Come on, they can't answer the phone quickly because they're too busy counting all the money they have stolen from the great British public.

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