Papernest disclaims that they are not in partnership with Spark energy
Papernest disclaims that they are not in partnership with Spark Energy
Spark Energy has been around since 2007. A scrappy upstart energy supplier, it’s USP was that it catered to the needs of the growing UK rental market. As well as providing energy to tenants, landlords and homeowners, Spark Energy also provides short-term phone, broadband and Sky TV contracts for tenants. Spark Energy were bought by the OVO Energy Group in 2018, becoming part of a group of companies that have a share in the market of over 15%.
Last updated: February 2021
With the ideology of a small independent supplier, and the resources of an energy giant, they have the potential to be great. But do the Spark Energy reviews live up to the brand’s promise?In this post we’ll look at Spark Energy reviews from genuine customers, as well as data from a number of other sources.
Is Spark Energy’s customer service any good?
What do you look for when choosing a new energy supplier?
Let’s be honest. It’s almost certainly low prices. None of us wants to pay more for our energy than we absolutely need to. Even though, as a nation, we spend over £800 million more than we should on energy tariffs.
But let’s be honest, as great as low energy prices are, they can be a poor substitute for great customer service. None of us wants to spend any longer waiting for a phone query to be answered or a complaint to be resolved any longer than we absolutely have to.
Spark Energy certainly have some competitive energy deals. But do they have the customer service acumen to match?
Let’s take a look at the information available online to see what Spark Energy’s customers really think of them…
Spark Energy reviews: What do customers say about them?
In order to get a clear picture of how Spark Energy’s customers feel about them, we’ll be pulling data from several sources. We’ll look at reviews and other data that give us an indication of how well the supplier looks after its customers. The majority of our investigation here will rely on data from the company’s Trustpilot page. However, we will also take into account reviews from Reviews.io as well as their Citizens Advice ranking.
On Spark Energy’s Trustpilot page, the brand has a customer score of 3.8 at the time of writing. This classifies them as a “Great” rated energy supplier.
Out of 30,717 reviews left by customers:
- 17,635 (57%) were rated “Excellent”.
- 4,055 (13%) were rated “Great”.
- 1,282 (4%) were rated “Average”.
- 1,134 (4%) were rated “Poor”.
- 6,611 (22%) were rated “Bad”.
While the brand falls short of an “Excellent” rating, these are nonetheless respectable statistics. Over on Reviews.io, however, customer sentiment is markedly less positive. The company has only 77 reviews on the site, yet a very low rating of 1.05 out of 5 stars. Only 1% of reviewers would recommend Spark Energy. However, as Spark Energy do not solicit reviews here in the same way as they do Trustpilot, this means that consumers are less incentivised to leave positive reviews on the former platform.
On Citizens Advice’s rankings, Spark Energy are ranked #27 out of 38 suppliers listed. Spark Energy performed well in areas like ease of switching and number of complaints to third parties (just 13.2 per 10,000 customers). However, their aggregate score is mired by a lack of customer guarantees, as well as poor-to-middling scores for ease of contact and billing transparency.
Below, we’ll look at some customer reviews, and compare the good the bad and the ugly to get a better understanding of what Spark Energy’s customers really think…
Common features in positive reviews were ease and speed of use when communicating via live chat, positive experiences with the app, friendly and helpful customer service staff, and good value for money. A few reviews mention the member of staff who looked after them by name. A little detail that we find usually indicates that they have gone above and beyond, and the customer wants to acknowledge that.
We include some quotes from real reviews below:
- “Spoken with an adviser via the app this morning in relation to my account this morning and he was helpful and informative on what I needed to know. Very polite and friendly, 10/10 for his customer services this morning”.
- “Couldn’t have asked for anything better quick simple and easy”.
- “I had a good experience with Spark. When I moved home, I made a mistake with the meter reading (I entered a higher value than I should have) and they helped me out, both via calls and via emails. I got my refund just fine. They have a good customer service attitude and their departments seem to collaborate well together”.
- “Just moved into our new property and got a call from [advisor name] just to welcome me to Spark and set up a direct debit. He got me a free Smart Meter, £50 off my bill and made the whole process so simple and pleasant!”.
Spark Energy value for money
Spark Energy are fairly competitive, and data on the brand’s value for money is inconclusive. Although a few reviewers on Trustpilot mention that they are happy with the prices that they pay, a 2020 independent survey revealed that Spark Energy customers rated them 2 out of 5 stars for value for money, billing accuracy and bill clarity.
Spark Energy response time
The Citizens Advice chart lists Spark Energy’s average call centre at 3:50. This is significantly below the national average of 5 minutes and 57 seconds. What’s more, an independent survey reported longer waiting times of 8 minutes 38 seconds on average.
More than ever, our team of experts remain on deck to help you make savings on your energy. We understand how deeply the lives of many are affected by these trying times and we want to support you the best we can. More on your energy supply during COVID-19 in our article.
Even the best energy suppliers make mistakes from time to time. And while negative reviews make up less than half of “Excellent” reviews (16% between “poor” and “bad” reviews), it’s important to recount them here for balance.
Negative reviews predominantly focused on billing mishaps and overcharging, references to indifferent or belligerent staff, long wait times, trouble making online payments and unresolved issues and complaints. You can see some customer comments below:
- “Overcharges as much as possible. Terrible customer service. Rude staff and awful rates”.
- “…it was a nightmare getting hold of anyone. I’ve spent hours waiting on the phone to talk to them”.
- “I was told that someone will get back to me within 24 hours of my complaint and here I am with more than 2 weeks and no update”.
We’ve also included some quotes from customer reviews who have had very negative experiences with Spark Energy. While these are by no means an indicator of the average customer experience, they deserve inclusion to help you make an informed decision.
- “My account is £108 in credit with them. I have requested this refunded on numerous occasions and surprise surprise; I am being ignored”.
- “Spark has since pestered me saying I owe them money even though I have changed provider. They have sent my details to a debt collection agency after multiple phone calls where they stated I didn’t owe them anything”.
- “They took extra money from my account, lost it internally , couldn’t be bothered to look for it despite supplying them all relevant info”.
Now that we’ve looked at the full gamut of Spark Energy reviews, here we’ll look at data from some other sources to give you a clearer idea of how the company performs in the metrics that are important to you.
Spark Energy fared better on live chat, where responses took just 3 minutes 2 seconds on average. Slightly faster than the median average of 3 minutes and 6 seconds.
Issue resolution and complaint handling
According to Citizens Advice, Spark Energy have a complaints to third parties ratio of 13.2 per 10,000 customers. Meaning that just over 1% of customers have a complaint that is not resolved internally and referred to the energy industry ombudsman. Roughly 75% of customer complaints are resolved by the next working day.
Unfortunately, Spark Energy could certainly be more proactive when it comes to responding to negative reviews on Trustpilot. The company has, at the time of writing, only responded directly to 26% of negative reviews, usually responding within one month.
Have they won awards for customer service?
Unfortunately, Spark Energy have not received any awards for customer service. However, they were finalists for the 2017 UK Business Awards, and were winners in the 2016 Customer Service Training Awards.
Spark Energy in the news
By and large, Spark Energy have kept out of the news over the past few years. The brand’s only mention in the press was when they were bought out by OVO in 2018 after going bust. They stopped trading after Ofgem began investigating them for failing to make their Renewables Obligation payments. Source: Financial Times
Think Spark Energy may be the supplier for you? Get in touch with us today!
Like what you see about Spark Energy? Think they might be the right supplier for you? Don’t make the switch without us! We can match the supplier’s tariffs to your needs to ensure that you’re getting the best possible value for money. What’s more, we’ll even manage your switch from end-to-end. So you can enjoy cheaper energy that’s 100% hassle-free.
Would you like to know more about Spark Energy? Great! Check out our article on spark energy tariffs
Updated on 24 Feb, 2021