Proposal 16 – Ensuring that market boundaries do not constrain effective complaint handling

30 November 2019

Industry to adopt common complaint handling standards across the EV sector.

Trust and confidence can be won if consumers’ complaints are dealt with swiftly and fairly. The bundling of home energy, public charging and vehicle services as well as the range of actors involved in the customer journey could create complex interdependencies within service provision. In such circumstances, users need to be confident that any problems will be resolved quickly and fairly, with clear boundaries for who is responsible and how the process will work.

Consumers must not be forced to navigate between different companies and agencies to resolve a problem. To prevent this, clear responsibilities for resolving consumer complaints must be defined and allocated between different market participants. Industry will need to agree to cooperate and work closely, jointly establishing processes to diagnose problems and assign them to relevant parties to create consumer confidence in fast, effective complaint resolution. 

Consideration should be given to the following points:

  • Complaint handling standards must be developed and implemented by all service providers involved in smart charging activities (including but not limited to energy suppliers, aggregators, chargepoint operators and installers, vehicle manufacturers);
  • As the standards will cut across many different industries and organisation types, the standards should be principle-based, however access to an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is essential;
  • The standards must be aimed at delivering a high level of service to the consumer;
  • Establishing complaint handling standards should be industry-led in the first instance, to reflect the fast-changing nature of the EV sector; and
  • Government must closely monitor implementation of the standards and if insufficient progress is made, keep open the option of intervening. The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce proposes the following timeline as a minimum:
  • A set of standards must be agreed and published in 2020;
  • The standards should be rolled out across industry over the course of 2021 with implementation by 2022.

Industry must develop and adopt common, principle-based complaint handling standards by the end of 2021 to ensure that consumers are transferred seamlessly (between market boundaries if necessary) to resolve their problem(s), regardless of who they have initial contact with. 

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce

20 November 2020