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"Deadlocked" complaints up

Complaints to the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner have dropped but the proportion of complaints reaching "deadlock" is up.


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The commissioner's latest annual report shows 2045 complaints were received in the year to March 2013, down from 2707 in 2012. Most complaints were settled between the parties but 13 percent couldn’t be resolved and reached deadlock. This was up from nine percent the previous year. When a complaint is deadlocked, either party can ask the commissioner to recommend a settlement.

Several companies had a much larger proportion of deadlocked cases than would be expected from their market share. The Lines Company in the King Country has around one percent of the lines market and accounted for 35 percent of all deadlocked cases involving lines companies.

Amongst retailers, Contact Energy was involved in 36 percent of deadlocked complaints. Its market share is 23 percent.

As in previous years, billing was the most common complaint to the commissioner’s office. It comprised 44 percent of all deadlocked cases, followed by customer service (17 percent).