Media release

Utilities Disputes 2021 Annual Report shows consumer contacts on the increase

6 July 2021

Utilities Disputes (UDL) is a free and independent dispute resolution service that resolves consumer complaints about electricity, gas, water, and broadband installation on shared property.  It has just released its annual report for 2021 which shows the cases it receives from consumers are continuing to increase. 

In the past year UDL received a total of 11,161 customer contacts, up from 7,815 last year. This increase has been since the onset of Covid-19 and has remained higher than in previous years. Customer contacts include when a consumer contacts UDL to request guidance or information in relation to their electricity, gas or water company, or a broadband installation on shared property. Higher customer contacts can reflect increasing efforts by the sector to inform consumers there is a free and independent service available to them if a matter cannot be resolved.

Customer contacts may also include complaints. Complaints were three percent (3%) higher than in the previous year. 

Complaints about electricity and gas make up 89% of all complaints UDL receives. The most common areas complained about are billing, customer service, meters, disconnections, and supply. 

“The 43% increase in cases is not unexpected, given the events of last year and the work UDL is doing to increase its awareness,” said Mary Ollivier, UDL Commissioner. “Our staff have responded well to manage the increase, working to help consumers resolve their issues as soon as they are raised. Providers are consistently improving their customer service and our work complements this. UDL prides itself on its ability to make a positive difference by supporting both consumers and providers to resolve issues.” 

Board Chair, Hon Heather Roy, says; “One of our key areas of focus has been to increase the visibility of UDL while making sure we continue to provide high quality services and leadership. It’s therefore really pleasing to see such a significant increase in contacts. It shows more people know about UDL and more organisations know to refer consumers to us. With Covid-19 now a part of everyday life we want to make sure that consumers stay connected.”

UDL Annual Report 2020-21

UDL Annual Reports

Media contact
Diana Wolken
Communications Manager
Phone: 021 288 0552