In 2018, there was an increase compared to the previous year: about 6,088 more complaints, about 12% more than in 2017. The increases, however, vary by type of service: waste management (+24%) water (+12%), electricity (+11%) and gas (+1%).
Despite the complexity of the situations of the grievances, the time taken to manage the procedures improved significantly compared to 2017: the average response times decreased to around 14 calendar days compared to the 18 in 2017 and the percentage of complaints handled within the standard time increased by almost 5 percentage points, reaching 98.9%.
|Average complaint response time (days)||19.1||18.3||13.7|
|Percentage of complaints that were dealt with within the standard timeframe (%)||87.8%||94.1%||98.9%|
|of which electricity and gas complaints relating to sales||87.4%||89.6%||95.3%|
|Number of complaints received||41,050||50,773||56,861|
Excluding AcegasApsAmga and Marche Multiservizi. The complaint response time is indicated in calendar days, with a reference standard of 40 days. There were 30,359 complaints relating to gas and electricity sales in 2017.
Excluding AcegasApsAmga and Marche Multiservizi, in 2018 the volume of complaints increased to almost 57,000 cases, +12% compared to 2017. Despite the increase, the complaints rate (the ratio of complaints to contracts managed) remained almost constant, rising from 1.5% in 2017 to 1.6% in 2018. The average response times improved further with respect to 2017, dropping from an average of 18 calendar days, to 14 in 2018. Handling times were very similar for all four services: gas, electricity, water and waste.
In 2018, activities to improve the communication style towards end customers continued, thanks to the implementation of the new language project for both handling written requests and customer contact (call centre and branch office). Moreover, for almost all of 2018 ARERA promoted a survey on energy-related complaints to verify the quality and validity of the responses provided to customers.
For AcegasApsAmga, the average response time to grievances was 18 days (27 in 2016), substantially in line with last year and 99.8% of complaints were answered within the standard time (was 99.9% in 2017). In Marche Multiservizi, the average response time to complaints was 9 calendar days (8 in 2017) and the percentage of complaints answered within the standard was 99.4%.