2 August 2022

New Zealand’s big power providers fail to satisfy customers

Our latest power company satisfaction survey has found that some of the big players continue to disappoint customers.

Contact was found to be the worst for competitive pricing, for customer support and for resolving problems quickly. Consumer’s survey found only 45% of Contact customers were very satisfied. Overall, 52% of New Zealanders reported being very satisfied with their power company.

Powershop, one of the smallest players in the market, has come out on top, receiving Consumer’s People’s Choice award. Customers rated it above average on competitive pricing, helping with saving energy, helping to select an appropriate plan, value for money and customer support.

Other big providers – Genesis, Trustpower and Mercury – failed to impress.

Customers rated Genesis below par on almost all performance questions. Trustpower was rated among the worst for competitive pricing and value for money. Trustpower’s customers rated it well below average for helping with selecting the most appropriate plan.

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“The survey results show the small players are doing a better job of keeping their customers satisfied while bigger power companies have comparatively lower scores for customer service,” said Paul Fuge, Consumer Powerswitch manager.

“This will come as a disappointment to some larger retailers who have made efforts to up their customer service game since last year's survey results were announced. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues next year.”

Of Trustpower’s customers, 30% said they were likely to switch power provider within the next 12 months. Powershop customers were most unlikely to switch providers.

Only one in 10 survey respondents had switched power companies over the past 12 months, and of those who did, 88% said it was easy to do so.

We encourage people to use Powerswitch to compare plans and check if they could get a better deal.

“As the rising cost of living continues to bite, checking you’re on the best power plan to meet your needs is a quick and easy way to identify savings,” Fuge said.

“Users of our Powerswitch service are currently finding plans that save them an average of $318 per year. We have noticed retailers becoming more competitive and innovative with their offers, and new retailers have come on board with some pretty sharp prices. With more options, new retailers and more competitive pricing, it really does pay for consumers to regularly check to see if they could be getting a better deal.”

About our survey

Our survey results are from a nationally representative survey of 1974 New Zealanders, aged 18 and over, carried out in April 2022. We report results for companies that had 30 or more responses in our survey.

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Alistair C.
12 Aug 2022
Happy with Contact

I used Powerswitch a bit over a year ago and found Contact to be the most price competitive at the time. My previous Mercury contract had been good, but there was a large increase after my contract term ended with them. I have had no issues with Contact since the changeover which went very smoothly. They have given good notice on a couple of times when the lines company was cutting power for maintenance in our area. I'll stay with them if they remain price competitive once the term of contract finishes.