Midcounties, Britain’s 2015 cooperative of the year, has been enduring some hostile press coverage in the Guardian over customer service problems at its subsidiary Co-operative Energy. A piece in the paper’s Money section earlier this month recounted a catalogue of unhappy customers complaining of unissued energy bills and problems with the new online portal. The Guardian suggested that customers might want to switch to a new supplier.
I can vouch that the online facility for customers logging meter readings has gone doolally. My own attempt to enter recent gas and electricity meter readings was rejected with a ‘computer say no’ type message. Actually, dear computer, I am in this instance right and you are wrong.
Energy companies are above all customer service companies, who stand or fall not by the quality of the gas or electricity they supply (as if), but on the quality of the service they offer. Ironically, Co-operative Energy has suffered from being too successful and running out of capacity. Nevertheless Midcounties does need to get over these current problems. And it might want to think about writing to all its customers soon with a sensibly drafted apology.