British Gas boss given £4million pay rise despite calls to ‘urgently’ improve customer service

British Gas boss given £4million pay rise despite calls to ‘urgently’ improve customer service

GOOD NEWS for Britons as energy bills in UK set to fall next month

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 26/03/2024

- 16:38

British Gas is one of the many energy suppliers receiving criticism for its quality of customer service in recent years

The owner of British Gas’s parent company has been awarded a raise close to £4million despite the energy supplier coming under renewed scrutiny.

Centrica chief executive Chris O’Shea was given this pay boost amid calls for British Gas to “urgently” improve its customer service.

Mr O’Shea received a pay packet of more than £8.2million in 2023, which was a significantly higher than the £4.5million reported the year before, according to Centrica’s annual report.

This package consisted of £810,000 in salary, a £1.4million annual bonus and £5.9million in long-term bonus, including some pension and benefits.

Nearly all of this pay rise compared to 2022 comes from the chief executive’s long-term incentive bonus which rose dramatically due to a jump in Centrica’s share price within the last three years.

Last week, British Gas was among the firms that came under fire from Which? over its current customer service operations.

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Woman on phone and Chris O'Shea

British Gas' CEO has received a bumper pay rise despite customer complaints


Among the other energy suppliers to be criticised by the consumer champions included Scottish Power and Ovo Energy.

Based on a survey conducted by Which?, these energy firms are the worst in the sector for responding quickly and effectively to issues raised by customers.

Many households have been forced to call their supplier in recent years due to the increase in energy bills amid the rise in the cost of living.

Consumers of the country’s biggest energy firms “all too often” were left on hold, made to deal with chatbots and moved between departments when trying to get help over queries, the analysis found.

British Gas fared better than both Scottish Power and Ovo Energy when it came to rankings for customer service.

The firm was found to have a satisfaction score of 16 out of a 100 for the length of time it took for people to get in touch with a person who could help.

Furthermore, British Gas was awarded a 23 rating out of 100 for getting an answer to an issue or query out of customers polled by Which?.

Despite these ratings being slightly better than Scottish Power and Ovo Energy, this was far below the ratings given to other competitors like Octopus Energy.

One British Gas customer told Which? they spent 43 hours on the phone and sent 24 emails trying to address a billing issue for more than 12 months.

Rocio Concha, the consumer group’s director of policy, urged energy suppliers to address their customer service issues.


British Gas van and woman looking at billBritish Gas is under fire from consumer champion Which? GETTY

She said: “Scottish Power, Ovo Energy and British Gas all fared poorly in Which? research on which firms are best for giving quick and effective solutions when things go wrong.

“Failings in this area are particularly unacceptable when sky-high energy prices have left families and households struggling to make ends meet.

“While many consumers will rightly consider switching, these firms must urgently make improvements so all customers are getting the standard of service and support they need and deserve.”

Reacting to Which?’s findings, a British Gas spokesperson said: “We’re also helping our most vulnerable customers through our sector leading £140million customer support package.

"It’s important that data used by Which? reflects the here and now and isn’t behind the curve.”

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