npower tops list of most complained-about energy companies

npower has beaten rival energy firms to secure the top spot in the energy company complaints league, receiving the most customer complaints.

The power company’s soaring prices and sky-high levels of customer dissatisfaction helped it to move ahead of all of the other Big Six energy firms to become the UK’s most complained-about provider.

The company recorded 202 complaints for every 100,000 customers between April and June 2013, five times more than SSE, which recorded the fewest.

The figures come from industry watchdog Consumer Futures, and cover a three-month period before the recent round of price hikes. The watchdog condemned npower’s record, saying it was “unacceptable”.

npower boss Paul Massara will be receiving a performance-related bonus for his work at the company this year. He recently dismissed giving up the bonus - as Sam Laidlaw, boss of British Gas owner Centrica has done - saying that doing so would merely “be a gimmick”.

In a BBC interview he said: “My bonus is linked to my performance, is linked to getting it right for customers, is linked to employee satisfaction. All of my team are linked to that. If we don’t deliver on that, we don’t get a bonus.”

Massara earns £600,000 a year, including a £150,000 bonus.

npower was the third major energy supplier to announce a price hike for the winter, with a dual-fuel bill to go up 10.4%.

The price increase, which will take effect on 1 December, is the highest increase announced by any of the Big Six suppliers.

Roger Hattam, director of domestic retail business at npower said: “We know that some of our customers have not had the service they deserve.

“We’ve had some challenges with a new computer system and we are sorry that this has caused problems for customers. I want to reassure them that we are working very hard and making progress in ensuring that these issues are resolved as quickly as possible.”

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