HIES Resolves 65.23% of All Consumer Complaints Within 7 Days

Our expert team of dispute resolution officers impressively resolved 65.23% of all consumer complaints received from 1st January 2018 to 30th June 2018, within 7 days. The remainder were effectively managed through to the end via free mediation, free inspections (at our discretion) and free access to an independent Ombudsman.

How does our Dispute Resolution Process work?

Our three-stage process comprises:

  • STAGE 1 – First line complaints: Our experienced and trained officers resolve complaints quickly and efficiently at stage one.
  • STAGE 2 – Mediation: Our professional mediators can commission an independent inspection report at no cost to the consumer when they deem it necessary to help resolve the dispute.
  • STAGE 3 – Ombudsman: Consumers have free access to an Independent Ombudsman to settle disputes without incurring legal costs. The Ombudsman’s decision, if accepted by the consumer, is legally binding on the member.

A few words from our Senior Dispute Resolution Officer, Charlotte Pilkington:

“I have worked for HIES for several years. Helping people is what we are good at and we strive to ensure that we provide consumers and installation companies with a route to resolution. We do this with passion, empathy and determination.

Our department has the ability to understand situations from both sides of the fence and we have the knowledge and experience to be able to help people make informed decisions. Sometimes, all you need is a third party with no connection to either side, to listen and give their view without emotion. It can be difficult when you are in the thick of it, like the consumer/installation companies we deal with, as it is hard for them to put history to one side. But with our help, we can provide a reasonable and fair resolution, which ends their dispute and allows both parties to move forward.

We are always here to help, even if someone just wants a bit of advice, we never turn anyone away.“


HIES complaint classification breakdown 1st January 2018 to 30th June 2018

Complaint class breakdown

∎ Product – 51.31%
Mis-selling – 13.60%
Cancellation & refunds – 8.83%
FIT/RHI information.paperwork – 7.88%
Workmanship – 5.97%
Performance/estimates – 4.53%
Generation issue – 2.39%
Customer service – 2.15%
Incomplete installation – 1.43%
Compensation – 0.72%
Finance/payment – 0.72%
Failed appointment – 0.24%
Damage – 0.24%

As you will see from the chart above, over half of all complaints received for the first half of the year in 2018 relate to products (51.31%). Examples of common complaints we receive about products include the under-performance of air source heat pumps and faults developing with solar PV inverters causing the system to stop working.

Other types of complaints include mis-selling (13.90%), cancellation and refunds (8.83%), FIT/RHI information and paperwork (7.88%), workmanship (5.97%), performance and estimates (4.53%), generation issues (2.39%), customer service (2.15%), incomplete installations (1.43%, compensation (0.72%), finance/payment (0.72%), failed appointments (0.24%) and damage (0.24%).


HIES complaint classification breakdown 1st January 2018 to 30th June 2018

Complaint product breakdown

Air source heat pump – 52.51%
Solar PV- 36.99%
Gas boiler – 3.10%
Ancillary product – 2.39%
Battery – 1.67%
∎ Solar edge – 1.67%
Biomass – 0.72%
Boiler – 0.24%
Ground source heat pump – 0.24%
Roofline – 0.24%
Thermodynamics – 0.24%

The above chart shows us the products we received the most complaints about between 1st January and 30th June 2018 were air source heat pumps (52.51%) and solar PV (36.99%).

The remainder of complaints received related to gas boilers (3.10%), ancillary products (2.39%), batteries (1.67%), solar edge (1.67%), biomass (0.72%), boilers (0.24%), ground source heat pumps (0.24%) roofline (0.24%) and thermodynamics (0.24%).

How does 2018 compare with 2017?

In 2017 HIES received a total of 486 complaints with 80% of these being resolved within 7 days. So far in 2018 we have received 419 complaints in the first half of the year.

In 2018 we have seen a percentage uplift in complaints received for air source heat pumps (52.51%) compared to 2017 (8.9%). We have therefore launched an investigation into the type of complaints we receive and the level of consumer detriment. The aim is to work with our membership to ensure a robust solution is in place to reduce consumer detriment.

HIES works closely with its members and always strives to help them improve their own level of service. This has been very successful over the past few months – 19.5% of all complaints received in 2017 related to customer service and so far in 2018 this figure is less than 2.5%!

The percentage of complaints received in 2017 that related to workmanship was 11% but at only 5% currently for 2018 this figure has more than halved.

Featured photo by yanalya at www.freepik.com