British Gas tops satisfaction survey

British Gas has beaten off its competitors to be ranked the best gas supplier in the UK for customer satisfaction.

In the annual gas supplier survey from research firm JD Power Associates, British Gas, which has more than 11 million gas customers, came top, while Powergen slumped to the bottom of the table.

The survey, which polled more than 2800 consumers, also revealed that nearly half (47%) of all gas users have switched supplier at least once since the deregulation of the utilities market more than four years ago.

Fourteen per cent of those who have switched have done so in the past 12 months.

JD Power asked consumers to rank their supplier on six criteria: customer service, billing and payment, price and value, reliability, meter reading and supplier image.

British Gas, which is running a multi-million-pound campaign through Clemmow Hornby Inge, ranked highly on the supplier image criteria, while EDF Energy, which shared second place in the rankings with Scottish Power and Npower, ranked highly on customer service.

Gunda Lapski, director of UK utilities at JD Power, said it was no surprise that British Gas had topped the table as "over the past three years it has done consistently well, finishing in the top three".

Nick Clare, managing director of British Gas, said it reflected the company's £400m investment in customer service systems and training and its strategy of "putting the customer at the heart of everything we do".

The survey results came as British Gas announced that it is increasing prices by 5.9% because of increased wholesale prices.

In a similar recent survey for electricity suppliers, Scottish and Southern Energy came out top (Marketing, October 23).

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