We engaged the Consumer Policy Research Centre to monitor consumer sentiment in 2020 and during the coronavirus pandemic.
Customer sentiment surveys 2020
What we did
We engaged the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) to monitor consumer sentiment in 2020 and during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to general sentiment, we asked customers about their experiences and behaviours when engaging with their energy retailer.
We collected information from customer surveys in June, August and October 2020.
Customer concern about paying energy bills has increased
In June 2020, 21 per cent of respondents reported being concerned about their ability to pay their energy bills. By October 2020, this had increased to 29 per cent.
When contacted for assistance, retailers were able to help in the majority of cases
In June 2020, 86 per cent of respondents reported receiving some form of assistance from retailers when contacted. In August 2020 this increased to 93 per cent, remaining consistent in October 2020 at 95 per cent. The assistance provided included payment plans, payment deferral, support for government assistance and ensuring the customer is receiving the best offer for their needs.
Victorians increasingly found better deals
In June 2020, 17 per cent of respondents tried to find a better energy deal. In August 2020 this increased to 22 per cent, and further increased in October 2020 to 27 per cent. The proportion of respondents who found a better deal and switched plans also increased, from 7 per cent in June 2020 to 14 per cent in October 2020.
Satisfaction with retailers improved
When recalling the most recent interaction with their retailer, reported satisfaction increased over time, from 55 per cent in June 2020 to 62 per cent in October 2020.
Customer sentiment survey reports 2020
See the full reports for further findings.