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Octopus Energy electricity supplier 120 times less stressful than Wekiwi

Publié le 15 mai 2024 à 14:00 par Magazine En-Contact
Octopus Energy electricity supplier 120 times less stressful than Wekiwi

For every 100,000 customers served and supplied with electricity, Octopus Energy has only 8 disputes per year, compared with 971 for Wekiwi and 67 on average for energy suppliers. As well as price, the quality of an energy supplier's service is crucial, says the national energy ombudsman. Mint Energie, OHM Energie, ENI and Enedis receive red cards. According to the National Energy Ombudsman's 2023 annual report, price disputes represent the largest category, after disputes over consumption levels.

In 2023, only 8 out of 100,000 Octopus Energy France customers referred a dispute or mediation with their supplier to the National Energy Ombudsman. This indicator puts Octopus Energy France at the top of the class for 'easy to live with' suppliers, the dunce in chief being Wekiwi (with 971 disputes per 100,000 contracts). Mint Energie and Ohm Energie are a distant second.

With 52 disputes per year per 100,000 customers, Total Energies does slightly better than the others, with energy suppliers causing 67 disputes on average per 100,000 customers. With a score of 44, EDF, the incumbent supplier, is 5 times more irritating than the company co-founded by the mathematician (Polytechnique and ENSAE) Vincent Maillard.

Convinced by this award and intrigued by the octopus's hard-hitting ads in the Paris metro, we tried to sign up this morning. Gloria, who recently joined Octopus Energy France's customer service team in Paris, gave us all the information we needed after a 9-minute wait...

Indicator of Service Quality : the amounts of complaints received per 100.000 customers

Wekiwi, Mint Energie, Ohm Energie, the three dunces in the number of disputes indicator
In 2023, the National Energy Ombudsman was contacted by almost 5 million consumers, including 27,350 times for disputes and 13,999 times for mediation requests (known as referrals). On the basis of this 'irritability' index, which measures the number of disputes or mediation requests in relation to 100,000 residential contracts, the ombudsman has given the worst performers 'red cards': Wekiwi, Mint Energie and Ohm Energie make up the top 3 dunces. Wekiwi crushes all the competition and takes first place with 971 disputes per 100,000 residential contracts (the average rate is 67 disputes). The best performer is... British-owned: Octopus Energy France boasts an impressive rate of 8 disputes and 7 mediations per 100,000 residential contracts. By comparison, the incumbents Engie and Total Energies have 78 and 52 disputes per 100,000 residential contracts respectively. Octopus Energy France is even playing the low-cost game by offering a tariff with a price per kilowatt-hour HTT 22% cheaper than the Tarif Réglementé de Vente (TRV) in force since February 2024.

Price changes are a source of irritation
While the number of claims has remained stable compared with 2022, the type of disputes has changed, with a sharp increase in disputes relating to price changes. The year 2023 was marked by the energy price crisis, which led to a 74% increase in the number of price-related disputes. Conversely, energy suppliers made progress in other areas: the number of disputes relating to consumption data and billing fell by 17% (3,249 admissible complaints), as did those relating to the quality of electricity supply (-17%, 250 admissible complaints).

Octopus Energy France was founded in 2014 by Vincent Maillard, Lancelot d'Hauthuille and Joanny Christ. The energy supplier was then known as Plüm énergie before being acquired in 2022 by the Octopus Group investment fund. Its chairman, Vincent Maillard, was delighted with the report by the French national energy ombudsman: "What our ranking in the report by the French national energy ombudsman published today demonstrates is that it is possible to provide practical solutions to improve consumers' purchasing power, without compromising on quality. [...] To achieve this, of course we need to move fast (and we are already supplying more than 7 million homes in Europe), but we also need to take a long-term approach, taking particular care to support each individual.

Octopus Energy advertisement in the Paris metro

Octopus Energy France's sales and acquisitions department already overwhelmed?
Three times this morning, 14 May, we called Octopus Energy France's sales and acquisition department on 09 77 55 80 30. In each case, we had to wait more than three minutes without being able to reach the service, except on the last attempt. Assisted by Teleperformance France, is Octopus Energy France undersized or already saturated? More than three minutes on hold when you want to contact the sales department from the choices offered on the IVR is pretty long. Never mind, we had the opportunity to discover the waiting music chosen by the supplier: Love you again, by the composer Lucas. For once, we've been spared Vivaldi's 4 Seasons and Cisco's Opus No. 1, the most listened-to music in the world!

Enedis and the three red cards awarded in 2023:
"In 2023, the National Energy Ombudsman will issue three red cards. The first red card will be awarded to the supplier WEKIWI for its repeated failure, at all stages of the contract, to comply with its obligations under the provisions of the Consumer Code. The second red card goes to suppliers who deliberately underestimate the amount of monthly payments in order to mislead consumers about the cost of their energy. And the third red card goes to ENEDIS for the difficulties it has encountered in mediation, as well as for its particularly critical practices.

Key figures from the National Energy Ombudsman's 2023 activity report:
- 4.9 million consumers informed by internet and telephone;
- 27,350 disputes received, including 13,999 mediation requests (known as referrals);
- 8,894 admissible referrals (within the Ombudsman's remit and preceded by a written complaint to the operator more than 2 months and less than a year old);
- 8,570 recommendations and amicable agreements issued; follow-up rate: 94%;
- Satisfaction rate: 87% and recommendation rate: 90%;
- 5.3 million euros budget and 46 employees.

Do you want it or not?
When contacted, the management of Wekiwi and OHM Energie did not wish to comment on these figures. That's understandable: generally speaking, a dunce is not too keen on explaining to the public what the teacher has written in a paper that has been marked with a 3 or a zero.

Octopus Energy, whose press agency Leon had sprinkled editorial offices with a press release on its client's very good scores that morning, was not keen to comment on them or answer any questions. It's clear that these energy suppliers are stars, who want us to talk about their company or brand, but don't. It made us want to listen again, and perhaps introduce you to Marcel Zanini and his memorable Tu veux ou tu veux pas?

"Life, for me, is magnificent, You mustn't complicate it with these hesitations".

To go further, consumers will be interested to watch the Complément d'Enquête programme entitled Electricité, l'injuste prix, broadcast in March 2024. It looked at the acquisition practices of certain players or comparators, using telemarketing or inbound calls, as well as the practices of energy resellers on the market, by trading specialists. Contacted by us, some of the brands mentioned in the report complained that the report was biased, leaving out elements observed by the programme's editors that did not seem to support the message they wanted to promote.  On 11 June, the magazine is organising the New Biz Forum, at which the best practices, tools and specialists in customer acquisition will be presented and explained. Registration only, in Paris at the Terrass Hôtel (Montmartre).

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