The ČEZ Ombudsman
CEZ Group strives to provide its customers with quality services and, at the same time, give them recourse in certain atypical situations and/or unsatisfactorily resolved cases. Therefore, in 2009, CEZ Group instituted the ČEZ Ombudsman. It was the first power company, not just in the Czech Republic but in the entire region where it operates, to create such an institution for its customers. The ombudsman position was created in accordance with Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity.
Customers of CEZ Group can turn to the ČEZ Ombudsman anytime they feel that their complaint or return was not correctly assessed and dealt with. The ČEZ Ombudsman also deals with cases where the customer believes that action taken by a CEZ Group company was in violation of the law or was not in line with good morals. The ombudsman also deals with customer suggestions for improvements to CEZ Group customer services.
The ČEZ Ombudsman is entirely independent of the CEZ Group companies, reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer of ČEZ, a. s., who guarantees the ombudsman’s independence. The ombudsman is entitled to access any and all information relating to the case at hand. Based on his investigation, he issues opinions that are delivered to the customer and the appropriate CEZ Group company.
In 2010, the ČEZ Ombudsman received 307 filings from dissatisfied customers. In 34 cases, the ombudsman issued an opinion in favor of the customer and called upon the company in question to meet the customer’s demands. In some of the cases, the ombudsman recommended that the companies make changes in their policies and procedures, or take other effective corrective measures. Most of the filings related to electricity distribution (38% – voltage quality, supply interruption, connection terms, issues related to ownership title), metering and billing (26% – disagreement with consumption amount metered and billed, unjustified electricity use), and contractual matters and payments (24%). In 91% of cases, the ombudsman issued his opinion within 30 calendar days; in the remaining 9% of cases, the investigations required a longer time frame. The region with the most filings was Central Bohemia.
In 2011, the ČEZ Ombudsman received 518 filings, of which 482 were complaints and 36 were suggestions. 116 of the complaints were irrelevant because the filing parties did not meet the requirement that the complaint must first be made through standard CEZ Group channels, while 79 more complaints were judged irrelevant for other reasons. In 2011, the ČEZ Ombudsman decided to grant the customers’ requests in 19 cases, even though no CEZ Group company was found to be at fault, while in another 28 cases the complaints were assessed as justified. The 30-calendar-day period for dealing with complaints and other filings was exceeded in just 6% of the cases.