Utility Customer Service Management Ltd.

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History page
March 2024
A 57 page report was submitted to Ofgem calling for Enforcement action in a DNO in regard their performance in the area of New Connections.

February 2024
A total of five seperate determinations requests submitted to Ofgem regarding the dreadful performance of one DNO, this has happened after years of stakeholder engagement where said DNO appears to have failed (our view) to engage effectively. Further representations are planned as we simply cannot standby and watch Customers be treated in such a way.

February 2024
After several years of discussions with a major water company in UK and in association with Ofwat, we have been invited by Ofwat to submit a formal determination.

December 2023
After our actions in April 2023, various meetings including with senior staff and repsentation at the companies AGM we find service continues to be not only dreadful but also breeches both reguations and licence conditions (our view). With a view to addressing this for the benift of all Customers, we have formally asked for the assistance of Ofgem by way of 5 seperate determination requests. We feel such poor service should not be tolerated and hope Ofgem will be able to correct this situation for all Customers.

August 2023
After a period of several years of representations to a major water company and with the help of Ofwat, the water company in question has finally recognised the poor service standard they are providing and the incorrect regularatory reporting and are taking steps to change processes to recognise same. This should bring about improvements not just for Customers of UCSM Ltd. but also a wider circle of Customers.

April 2023
After a period of what can best be described as dreadful service from a new connections business at one of UK main Distribution Network Operators, a 42 page report submitted highlighting not only service issues but regularatory discrepancies.

February 2023
After several years of discussions and claims in regard Guaranteed Standards failures in regard a single water company in the UK and after seeking a view from the regulator - Ofwat, we are pleased to receive formal notification from the regulator that they share our view on the matter. This should bring about improved standards of service for Customers of all water companies across the UK and in particular this water company who has in the past deemed it acceptable to ignore such regulations at the detriment of Customers.

February 2023
Representations made to Energy Regulator Ofgem in terms of performance of new connections business at one of UK main Distribution Network Operators.

November 2022
Representations made to Energy Regulator Ofgem in terms of credibility as Ofgem makes announcements about performance of suppliers which we feel does not accurately reflect the view of the general public.

July 2022
Greater London Authority announce capacity restrictions for future electrical connections in the SSEN area of West London which will have a potentially significate impact of developments in the area. To our knowledge, the only time this has occurred before in recent history is in the Cornwall and Devon area which was directly related to export capacity only. We watch with interest as this situation develops.

July 2022
Following representations from UCSM Ltd. to Ofwat and after several years where one particular water company repeatedly failed appointments for new connections work and failed to accept such failures and a Guaranteed Standard failure, we find Ofwat taking a similar view to UCSM Ltd. which should impact on all Customers (not just new connection Customers) in the said water company. It may have taken years to arrive at this point but we think it is worth it.

March 2022
Following representations from UCSM Ltd. UK Distribution Network Operator changes its stance and terminology for Customers in regard BNO systems, ironically it is the same Network Operator who has been historically very slow to make such changes.

February 2022
UK Distribution Network Operator engages external agency to clarify their legal position in regard Guarenteed Standards following UCSM Ltd. highlighting a potential issue with their existing interpretation.

August 2021
We approached a major Water network operator, asking them to introduce voluntary Guaranteed Standard payments for failed appointments similar to Energy Industry - mainly because they appears to frequently fail appointments!

July 2021
We approached Ofcom to try and resolve interpritation issue of recent amendments to Communication Act which appears to create a major disadvantage to some developments.

June 2021
Strong signals coming from ofgem that upstream reinforcements cost are likly to be removed for demand Customers. Customers advised accordingly and DNO's preparing for a potential "bow wave" of applications.

March 2021
Englands largest electrical DNO is purchased by an existing UK network operator raising concerns in regard Customer services levels.

UCSM Ltd. protects historical Customers from having DNO networks in their developments being declared as BNO systems and shifting burden of responcibility to maintain them from the DNO to the Customers concerned.

February 2021
All DNO's across UK being consulted to enable a change to be brought about with National Database which will improve accuracy for all Customers after justification presented and justified by UCSM Ltd.

January 2021
After many years of engagement with a large gas network operator in UK and many different levels including Director level and with very low levels of success, we are pleased to report that real engagement now appears to be taking place and changes being put in place that not only helps Customers of UCSM Ltd. but also Customers in general. This does indicate persistence does pay off!

November 2020
UCSM Ltd engage with Xoserve to drive improvements in database visability and accuracy.

UK Government annouce all new cares to be non internal combustion engine from 2030 and all new houses from 2023 cannot have gas boilers - creating a massive impact on the UK electrical energy network.

April 2020
UCSM Ltd submit summary of issues experenced with Elecrical DNO's during 2019 to Ofgem for consideration into next review period along with request for removal of targets in terms of time to connection and time to quote as these are creating more headaches for Customers than benefits.

March 2020
England along with most of the world hit by Covid - 19 virus and all non-urgent utility works stopped as the UK face significant emergency crisis.

January 2020
UCSM Ltd. approach Customer Engagement Group of one Gas Network Operator (who in our opinion needs to make many improvements in terms of Customer service) with a view of assisting with Customer service improvements - we feel their response (or lack of) will define their desire to improve.

Ironically, after our reports over last four months in regard Guaranteed Standards, Ofgem publish a report suggesting all DNO's performed well in this area.

November 2019
After several months of discussions with a DNO in regard a complex matter relating to charges, the matter was referred to the Energy Ombudsman who after some going back and forth, ruled on side of the DNO. After further discussions with the DNO, the DNO has now conceded the matter and have indicated they believe on balance the view of UCSM was correct. We guess the moral to the story is to be persistant. We are now keen to work with the DNO to help avoid similar situations in the future which should benefit all Customers.

UCSM Ltd. recover largest GSoP compensation for single Guaranteed Standard failure to date of 1685 although it would be fair to say the DNO concerned did not see it our way initially - again!

UCSM Ltd. selected to represent Customers on an Ofgem working group for RIIO-ED2 in relation to Customer Service, Vulnerability and Connections. We have indicated there are still bad performance across the board and discrepancies between different DNO s.

October 2019
UCSM Ltd. Stress need for greater focus on Customer Service by DNO's to Ofgem in preparation for RIIO-ED2.

By way of an update - the scheme quoted by a DNO's for 109k back in August has now been revised to just over 24k - less than a quarter of the original quote!

UCSM Ltd. attend first Cadent Gas Customer Advisory Panel in London - an initiative we have been pressing Cadent Gas to take for many years - this should result in service improvements across the whole of Cadent Gas area.

UCSM Ltd. recover largest GSoP compensation for single Guaranteed Standard failure to date of 1105 although it would be fair to say the DNO concerned did not see it our way initially.

September 2019
UCSM Ltd. take lead in breaking new ground to encourage an existing water company to discharge (via a bulk discharge agreement) into a new entrants water company waste network despite a fair degree of reluctance.

UCSM Ltd. are one of a small number of businesses invited to meet with Cadent Gas with a view to improving Customer service.

August 2019
Ironically, the same electricity company (DNO) who appeared to overcharge back in June this year appears to have done it again - a proposed charge of 109K for ten new supplies to flats! Upon further investigation, they have allowed for the wrong number of units and the wrong proposed load (a load of 3 times higher than what was asked for) suggesting Customers are right to have low levels of confidence in some utility companies.

July 2019
Meeting with Cadent Gas to talk specifically about Customer Service, UCSM Ltd again trying to raise bar for Customers.

June 2019
After much effort, UCSM Ltd. manage to facilitate ground breaking discussions between an established water company and a new entrant so as to provide a combined solution to the benefit of an end Customer.

Just when we thought some electricity companies were improving we had a quote for a single new LV service for over 14k and when challanged, it was reduced to just under 4k - a potential overcharge of 10k on one services! Of course, our Customer only receives the quote we recommend. We wonder how many people would have paid the 14k initial quote....

May 2019
Meeting with Cadent Gas at City Hall, London and as expected, Customer Services was top of agenda for UCSM Ltd to raise.

City Hall.

July 2018
UCSM Ltd. recovers over 500 for Guaranteed Standard failures from two seperate DNO's in UK - One was only after extensive representations which only lead to payment at last stage of review. We wonder how many Customers are missing out on such payments and the important lack of incentive on levels of Customer Service to DNO's.

UCSM Ltd meet with Openreach at BT Tower, London to discuss Fibre to Premise roll out.

PO Tower.

April 2018
UCSM Ltd. continues to work with Ofwat on Customer Service issues in various water companies across UK.

January 2018
UCSM Ltd. active Customer representative on all three "southern" Electrical Distribution Network Operators connections steering panels - Scottish & Southern Energy Networks, UK Power Networks and Western Power Distribution.

October 2017
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy issue consultation on Assessement & Design Fees, UCSM Ltd make strong representations to highlight fact that introduction of these without a corrisponding expectation in improvements in Customer Services is at odds with efforts by Ofgem, we await to see if such a linkage is encouraged or not.

July 2017
Transpires an issue with Guaranteed Standard compliance by one of the big six suppliers, first raised by UCSM Ltd. in 2014 has resulted in compensation payments in order of 1.1m.

March 2017
UCSM Ltd. assists Eon on Customer Service issues in their new connections business.

November 2016
UCSM Ltd. assists National Grid on Customer Service issues in their domestic gas distribution business.

September 2016
UCSM Ltd. inputs into further development of Distributed Generation market via forums in London and across UK.

February 2016
UCSM Ltd.develops stronger links to various DNO's as the requirement for better stakeholder engagement takes pace.

November 2015
UCSM Ltd.takes active role in developments in new connections process at UKPN and SSEPD.

August 2015
Ofgem announces draft for consultation of new Statutory Instrument (SI). UCSM are pleased to note, one new paragraph in SI brought about directly after discussions between UCSM and Ofgem in relation to poor service received by one of our Customers.

May 2015
For the second time in as many years, Ofgem have chosen to support the stance of industry against small Customers on minor issues after UCSM made representations to them on the issues. We remain hopeful that this is merely a short term "blip" from the regulator.

March 2015
UCSM due to have three way conversation with Ofgem and DNO to review interpretation of Electricity regulations where it appears the regulation are interpreted to the detriment of Customers. Ironically, same DNO appears to have policies which continue to be ignored by its own staff.

February 2015
When considering Speed/tineliness of connection, Price/cost of connection and Customer service and communications; Big Sofa in their report to Ofgem detailed: "Specialist connection consultancies will look at all three factors and are likely to be most active in the market to secure the best deal for their client."

January 2015
UCSM reviews a single grid connection for a Customers and gets a 86% reduction in the price amounting to over 73k. We also commence discussions with both the ENA and Ofgem about Building Network Operator (BNO) schemes which are causing difficulties for Customers in the London area.

November 2014
Ofgem confirms, UCSM Ltd. uncovers "gap in the industry procedures". which is being worked on for the benefit of all Customers in UK.

September 2014
Utility companies reported to be "At rock bottom" in terms of Customer Service according to Which. Many UCSM Customers are seeing this first hand and we continue to make representations to both the Regulator and the Ombudsman on these matters.

June 2014
UCSM assist Distribution Network Operator to revise policy for wayleaves and easements to streamline process and reduce cost for builders and developers.

April 2014
After some minor input from Ofgem, Utility Company concedes to arguments put forward by UCSM that they have breached regulations and agrees to an enhanced payment to the Customer.

March 2014
As the UK Customer Satisfaction Index as issued by the Institute of Customer Service reports utilities continue to be poor in terms of Customer Service, Ofgem annouce investigations into the market nationally and UCSM commence two separate determinations with Ofgen regarding performance of two separate utility companies.

November 2013
UK Customer Satisfaction Index as issued by the Institute of Customer Service reports "Utilities rank 13th, the lowest of all sectors. Its score is down 1.4 since January 2013".

July 2013
UK Customer Satisfaction Index as issued by the Institute of Customer Service reports "Utilities have dropped further at the bottom of the pack, and is now at its lowest level since 2010".

May 2013
UCSM discusses Customer Service issues with Chairman and Senior staff of Centrica.

April 2013
UCSM makes representations to Ofgem regarding Guaranteed Standards in the energy industry.

April 2013
Institute of Customer Service announce utility companies remain worst performers in terms of Customer Service and complaint resolution.

February 2013
Two Distribution Network Operators (DNO's) in UK invite comments from UCSM on their Customer Service performance.

December 2012
UCSM responds to demand from construction industry to provide simple, clear and accurate feasability studies for potential development sites.

August 2012
UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) issued by the Institute of Customer Service confirmed Utilities to still be the worse performing sector.

May 2012
Noted on a national website forum, the following comments by anonymous individual when responding the the charges from a DNO: "You should speak to www.ucsm-ltd.co.uk. I've a couple of self-build customers very happy with their service."

April 2012
DNO (Distribution Network Operator) famous across UK for high levels of Customer Services changes it's stance on Guaranteed Standards following a challenge by Utility Customer Service Management Ltd. - this change should result in benefits to many Customers seeking new connections.

February 2012
Company makes submissions to Consumer Council for Water about how a Water Company views Guaranteed Standards and gains their support, causing the Water Company to change their approach.

December 2011
Company makes submissions to Ofgem with view to improved Customer service in industry and extending contestability.

September 2011
Company takes part in debate with Ofgem on developments with Distributed Generation in the UK.

August 2011
Company starts discussions between Scottish Power and Western Power Distribution in regard a possible 11kV interconnector to bring about benefits to hundreds of Customers.

July 2011
Company launches new web site

April 2011
Company Managing director joins Ofgems MCSG (Metered Connections Steering Group)

February 2011
Company Managing Director re-elected President of the local Chamber of Trade & Commerce after first year results show an increase in membership of 23% and the transition of a financial loss in the previous 3 years to a healthy surplus as well as raising 1400 for Charity .

January 2011
Company commences support by way of free service to Gloucester Rowing Club and the construction of their new Club House in Gloucester.

December 2010
Company presents embedded generation options to Herefordshire farmers.

August 2010
Company prepares for introduction of new standards for electricity connections being introduced in October.

July 2010
Company introduces Excellent Customer Service award scheme.

February 2010
Company Managing Director becomes President of the local Chamber of Trade & Commerce.

January 2010
UCSM takes part in consultation process with Ofgem with view to revising disputes procedures.

December 2009
Links established with new Lloyds accredited Independent Connections Provider (ICP).

October 2009
UCSM takes part in National Customer Service Week.

August 2009
UK expert in Regulatory affairs (Energy Market) joins team at UCSM.

April 2009
Company Managing Director becomes member of Institute of Customer service.

March 2009
Links established with Anaerobic Digester expertise to help develop aspect across UK.

February 2009
Company Managing Director becomes Vice President of the local Chamber of Trade & Commerce.

November 2008
Company Managing Director helps The Institution of Engineering and Technology in its registration process.

October 2008
Company commences load monitoring checks for Customers.

September 2008
Further submissions made to Ofgem with view to improved Customer service in industry.

August 2008
Company commences work with Birmingham City Council (largest Local Authority in Europe).

March 2008
Company enters into agreement with utility consultant so that Customers can benifit from this extended service.

November 2007
Company commences work in London area.

October 2007
Company completes work on house featured in "Grand Designs".

September 2007
Company submits data to Ofgem with view to improved Customer service across industry.

July 2007
Business hit by problems associated with the Great Gloucestershire Flood.

October 2006
Formal submission made to Ofgem on development of industry and in particular, Customer service..

Formal link with supplier npower established with view to improved service to Customers.

June 2006
Feature in national publication "Construction News".

February 2006
Meeting with Ofgem with view to increased competition in industry.

January 2006
UCSM commences first charitable donation of service to local community group.

October 2005
First amount of compensation recovered for a Customer as a result of poor Customer service from a utility company.

July 2005
Company launch and commencement of trading.

March 2005
Company formed.

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