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British Gas most criticised UK energy company on social media

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 20 November 2013

An estimated 4 million negative daily opinions are exchanged about one of the big six energy brands
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The UK’s top six utility companies receive masses of social media negativity Keller Fay Group research unveils.

Data from Keller Fay's TalkTrack research programme claims Britain’s biggest energy companies are receiving huge levels of word of mouth and social media negativity.  According to the Keller Fay Group, British Gas is attracting 39% of all negative WOM, greater than its market share and above the level of competitors, even allowing for its larger customer base. While Consumer Futures claims npower has the worst for complaints volumes for negative WOM, British Gas receives the unfavourable label of being the worst.

Keller Fay Group logoSteve Thomson, MD of Keller Fay UK, explains, “Energy brands have few fans, and generating positive brand buzz is a tough challenge in the current environment.  But not all WOM is derogatory, and the best performers in the sector do attract significantly more brand advocacy than their competitors."

UK consumer watchdog Consumer Futures indicates that of Britain's top six energy providers, npower received far more customer complaints than competitors, relative to the size of its customer base.

% of negative WOM for Big-6 energy suppliers – 6 months to October 2013

  • British Gas 39%
  • E.ON 19%
  • npower 15%
  • eDF 10%
  • SSE 8%
  • Scottish Power 8%

Surprisingly, not all WOM about energy brands is negative.  Over a quarter of conversations about them is mostly positive.  However, only 22% of conversations about npower deemed positive, landing it in the bottom of the pile.  This compares with 35% positive sentiment for eDF, though even this is well below the UK all-brand average (62% positive).

The findings come as energy prices rise and customer trust in utilities companies is reported to being at an all time low.



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