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Trustpower ‘underwhelming’ – survey
Posted at 6:44am Friday 07 Jul, 2017
Tauranga-based Trustpower is one of the powercos found by a Consumer NZ customer survey to be providing a less than satisfactory service.
Just 45 percent of customers are satisfied with the service provided by the country’s big five power companies.
Consumer NZ chief executive, Sue Chetwin says the majority of those customers surveyed found Contact, Genesis, Mercury, Meridian and Trustpower delivered an “underwhelming service”.
“This satisfaction rating is lower than rates we’ve found in the banking and general insurance industries,” says Sue. “And it’s dragged down largely by the performance of the big five.
“Our surveys consistently find the big players are letting the side down in the customer satisfaction stakes. This year, their proportions of very satisfied customers were all below 50 per cent.”
Consumer NZ singled out Bosco Connect, a subsidiary of Mercury Energy, which often serves as the default provider in apartments. “Thirty per cent of customers had regularly experienced long wait times to speak to customer service. Its overall rate of very satisfied customers was just 28 per cent,” says Sue.
Bosco’s power price is a third more than the national average. “And we’re aware of one letting agent that wrongly told clients they had no choice of energy retailer.”
Some retailers are doing a better job of keeping their customers happy. Flick Electric topped the Consumer NZ survey with 71 per cent of customers very satisfied with the company’s service. They were also more likely to think they were getting good value for money.
Flick’s rates are directly tied to the spot (wholesale) price of power, says Sue. While the rates can offer big savings, customers need to be prepared to weather higher bills when prices spike.
Spot prices have recently risen as a result of low lake levels in the South Island. Flick customers worried about rising prices are able to ditch the retailer without penalty as the company doesn’t have break fees.
The survey results can be found in the July issue of Consumer magazine and at consumer.org.nz. The survey was conducted in May. A nationally representative sample of 1437 New Zealanders aged 18 or over was asked to rate the performance of their energy provider.
SunLive has contacted Trustpower for comment.