04 July 2012 10:45
Customer first: Reset Review truly becoming part of E.ON's DNA
Dr. Tony Cocker, Chief Executive of E.ON UK, today (WED) promised that E.ON will continue to make things better for customers as it continues to push forward business change: "Our Reset Review puts customers at the very heart of our business - not just in words, but through our actions. We believe that our direction is right for our customers and now we must build on our initial progress and drive further real improvement in how we help our customers," he explained.
"The forthcoming launch of Best E.ON Deal for You in the autumn and the creation of a single sheet bill for the vast majority of our customers are just two clear examples of how we have listened and put into action exactly what our customers asked for - clear, simple, comparable information provided by a company that wants to help."
As the initial period of the Reset Review ends, changes announced today by E.ON include:
- Single sheet bill - from this summer, what customers want, a first for the industry;
- Best E.ON Deal for You - launched this autumn along with a further simplified range of products, plain-English best tariff checks based on your own usage will be available online or by speaking to any customer service advisor. E.ON will start to contact customers in September and will also add information about how to access a personal check on every bill. There will be many opportunities for E.ON customers to hear about the best E.ON product for them, giving confidence and clarity to families;
- End of two-tier pricing on all new non-standard products - E.ON will introduce a single rate and a standing charge on all non-standard products (excl. fixed bill product StayWarm) for new or switching customers from this autumn making charges easier to understand. All standard products for new or switching customers will transfer to single rate charges with a standing charge in 2013;
- Proposed end to doorstep selling - proposing to stop unsolicited selling door to door after an appropriate consultation period, whilst increasing our venue and event selling team;
- Invest to reduce waiting times - process changes and added support at E.ON's UK call centres tohelp customers and reduce call waiting times this winter;
- 100 energy efficiency jobs to be created, with more to come - helping homeowners and communities manage their energy use better;
- Energy efficiency on call - all customer service and field colleagues to receive externally accredited energy efficiency training, approx. 4,000 people;
- Creation of a second Smart Meter centre of excellence in Bolton - supported by 85 people;
- Successful independent Customer Council to remain until end of year - Leighton and Tipping to continue to help pressure test and push forward reforms;
- Help for SMEs - TPI code of conduct introduced, first major energy supplier to put contract end date on bills, fairer payment policies and extra energy efficiency help.
Speaking to E.ON colleagues earlier today Dr. Cocker further explained that the significant changes whilst vital meant difficult choices had to be made: "To do things even better we must also make difficult choices, such as consulting with our colleagues about ending unsolicited doorstep selling because it no longer fits with the way our customers want us to do business with them. Instead we will increase our venue and event selling team so that we can continue to help our customers in the heart of their communities."
The changes announced by E.ON also include one of the most extensive energy efficiency training programmes ever undertaken in Britain that will create a taskforce ready to help families and businesses get their energy use and their bills under control.
"We've all heard about the expectation of rising energy prices in the future and although we've given our customers confidence that our prices will not go up this year, we also want to meet their need for energy advice and clear information. That's why all our E.ON colleagues who talk directly to customers will receive externally accredited energy efficiency training. I want to make sure that however our customers contact E.ON they receive the energy efficiency help that will make a real difference," said Dr. Cocker.
Since beginning its Reset Review in January, E.ON has worked extensively with customers, both directly and through its 28,000-strong YourSay panel and has engaged consumer advocacy groups such as Which? and Consumer Focus as well as its independent Customer Council that included Allan Leighton (ex-CEO of Asda), Justine Roberts (founder of Mumsnet) and Paddy Tipping (ex-Select Committee Chair) and its 12,000 employees who represent a strong cross section of UK society.
Over 30 significant changes have been made as part of E.ON's Reset Review and more innovations will be introduced as a direct result of E.ON talking with its customers. For further information on how E.ON is transforming the way it helps its customers and to join the 28,000-strong customer only, YourSay panel visit www.eonenergy.com/reset.
Notes to editors:
Significant changes made as part of E.ON's Reset Review include:
Putting customers first:
- An initial 100 energy efficiency jobs so that customers and communities can access the best information and help on energy efficiency possible;
- All front-line E.ON colleagues to be trained to give energy efficiency advice so that customers can simply access the energy efficiency help they want. All 4,000 colleagues will be trained within the next 18 months;
- Proposed end to unsolicited doorstep sales subject to consultation with colleagues and their representatives;
- Extra support and process changes to help E.ON customer service teams help customers more and keep call waiting times as short as possible;
- Creation of a second Smart Meter centre of excellence in Bolton, which has delivered 85 new roles. E.ON's investment reinforces its commitment to ensure over one million smart meters will be installed by the end of 2014, bringing an end to estimated bills and providing the detailed information customers need to control their energy use;
- Help for SMEs: TPI code of conduct introduced, first major energy supplier to put contract end date on bills, fairer payment policies and extra energy efficiency help;
- Helping our vulnerable customers in a way that goes beyond just efficiently fulfilling our Government obligations: Investment in new systems and training to improve understanding of the specific needs of each vulnerable customer and provide them with appropriate support; E.ON will begin a trial of Energy Help Checks to its most vulnerable customers from the autumn, covering energy efficiency advice, measures, income support and tariff checks; the creation of a charitable trust fund to help those customers in debt or struggling with their payment.
Helping customers control their bills:
- Launch of Best E.ON Deal for You in the autumn that could help many customers;
- Introduction of a simple, single sheet bill, which customers have asked for;
- Introduction of a single rate charging structure across new products to provide greater clarity;
- The only energy company which has committed not to increase its prices in 2012 (*Only customers who are currently on a fixed term deal that ends this year may see an increase);
- Providing clearer choices by cutting the number of tariffs by almost a quarter in February and scrapping certain products that had been criticised as confusing;
- Being transparent about profits, with clear figures published in March and available through E.ON's website to show how much money it makes and what it spends it on;
- An electricity price cut in February which helped 75% of E.ON's customers;
- Delivering a second price cut for prepayment meter customers to further help nearly three quarters of a million customers from 1st May 2012. Prepayment prices on gas were cut by 1.6% and electricity by 1.6%;
- Making an enduring promise of fair prices and product accessibility for all. E.ON products are available through all channels so that customers have access to the same products- whether they buy on the phone, on the internet, face to face or where appropriate, through collective switching initiatives.
A fairer way of paying:
- More accurate billing. A full review of systems with the ambition to further improve accuracy;
- All discounts paid on final bills. All final bills include discounts calculated during that period;
- A complete overhaul of E.ON's Direct Debit approach to reduce payment shocks;
- Customers joining E.ON's Direct Debit scheme have their Direct Debit payments reviewed one year after joining meaning more even payments throughout the year.
Improving customer service:
- All of E.ON's customer service and sales numbers are being switched from 0845 to 0345, meaning that customers with inclusive mobile call packages should see no charge from their operator for calling E.ON and that, at most, customers will be charged at a local rate. This applies whether calls are made from a mobile or landline unlike 0800 numbers which incur a charge when called from a mobile;
- A guarantee that all E.ON customer service numbers will continue to be answered in the UK;
- Key complaints data first published in March will continue every quarter on E.ON's website. A first in the energy industry, increasing customers' confidence in how many complaints are handled and resolved and how E.ON is working to address any underlying causes;
- A customer complaints forum. A regular event, attended by senior E.ON employees and customers to ensure complaints are heard first-hand and measures are put in place to prevent repeat occurrences.
For more information contact:
Scott Somerville (02476 183 438)
Victoria Blake (02476 181 304)