How do providers stack up for customer service and how do we calculate the MSE customer service rating?
Our customer service rating has got nothing to do with price, it only looks at how good the company is to deal with. We compile our overall customer service score from different data sources:
- Citizens Advice data, which measures complaints, billing and switching performance.
- Our bespoke YouGov poll, which asks 10,000 people about their experiences.
We then combine these to come up with our star rating. Where necessary, if we hear of an urgent case of poor feedback from MoneySavers, we may manually remove or alter ratings.
We normally update the scores three times a year (though we've temporarily reduced this due to the ongoing energy market crisis), to keep the ratings as relevant as possible.
While nothing is perfect when it comes to measuring customer service, we think this gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
How providers stack up for customer service
According to our latest survey, from December 2022, Octopus Energy was the highest rated firm for customers service, while SSE was the lowest rated...
|MSE's customer service rating|
|Provider||Customer service score out of 5|
Here's how we crunch the numbers (the nerdy bit):
YouGov survey. We ask YouGov to run a survey of around 10,000 people on energy suppliers' customer service. From this, we get about 8,000 to 9,000 responses from those responsible for their household's energy bills, with each person grading their supplier's service between 0 and 10 (with 0 being the worst score, 10 being the best).
We assign each supplier with more than 50 votes in this survey (we discount those with fewer votes as we don't feel it'd give an accurate representation) with a score out of five. To do this, we work out the percentage breakdown of what each supplier scores between 0 and 10. For every percentage point in one we multiply by one, for two we multiply by two, and so on. We add it all up, then divide by 100 to give us a score out of 10, then divide by two to get a score out of five.
Citizens Advice ratings. We also look at energy suppliers' customer service ratings from Citizens Advice. It publishes this every three months, giving providers a score out of five based on each supplier's performance in relation to complaints, call centre waiting times, billing accuracy and timing, switching, and whether the supplier is signed up to voluntary industry agreements.
We don't use the full Citizens Advice rating however, as we think that scoring on call waiting times can punish online-only firms (that may have great service), nor do we think the voluntary industry agreements account for much. These two parts make up 30% of Citizens Advice's score. We simply portion that 30% between the info on complaints, billing and switching that we keep, using the same ratios. This then gives us a second score out of five for suppliers.
Editorial judgement. Now and then, when we hear of serious issues with a particular supplier, or if one of them is in hot water with the regulator, we may decide to remove their customer service score and put up a warning just to let you know why.
Once we've worked this all out, we take the YouGov score and the Citizens Advice score, add them together for a score out 10, then divide by two for a score out of five.
How do you then rank each supplier?
In normal times, when switching is an option (it's not right now due to the energy crisis), we group suppliers into three categories: 'Top', 'Great', and 'All'. When you do a full comparison, you can choose between these depending on the level of service you're after.
What's more, we also take a look at the results and see if there are any suppliers that worry us – this is where we use our editorial judgement to let you know of any issues you won't see from the data.
Of course, this is an average customer service rating and everyone will have slightly different experiences with their provider.
Do your figures include VAT?
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