Posted by British Gas in News & Communications
From today, British Gas is introducing flexible monthly direct debits and payment holidays for customers with online accounts. Eligible customers will now be able to set the amount they want to pay each month and choose up to two months in every 12 in which they pay absolutely nothing.
These new services are the first in a series of changes being made by British Gas as a result of a year of working with our customer panel to improve the business. Following significant involvement by the panel over the last year, British Gas has now invited 10 customers to form a permanent British Gas Customer Board which will continue to give robust feedback to the senior leadership team at British Gas.
Ian Peters, British Gas' managing director of energy, said:
“A year ago we embarked on a nationwide journey to listen to our customers, touring high streets up and down the country, as well as giving 40 customers the chance to visit and question us on every part of our business. Their frank and honest feedback has been hugely valuable and made us take a long hard look at ourselves.
“Unsurprisingly, one of the most pressing concerns was managing bills. That's why we're now offering our customers the chance to vary their payments online – and even take payment holidays if they need to. This is one of many changes we'll be making to the business this year.”
Responding to customer feedback will be a major focus for British Gas and the customer board in the months and years ahead, and a five-point plan, put forward by the customer panel will provide direction for this.
Ann Robinson, director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com who chaired the Customer Panel said:
“At uSwitch.com, our aim is to look after the public's best interest and, most importantly, save them money. As a result, I haven't always had good things to say about British Gas.
“I've been genuinely surprised at the access that the customer panel has had and I'm impressed to see British Gas taking the feedback of customers so seriously. It still has changes to make but I'm now convinced that British Gas is truly committed to listening to its customers and taking action to improve the business.”
The first meeting of the customer board will take place in the spring, with a focus on helping customers benefit from smart meters as part of a commitment to lead them towards a carbon reduced future.
Peter Archibald, a panellist from Windsor, who will continue to help British Gas as a member of the British Gas Customer Board said:
“Before I joined the customer panel, I thought of British Gas as an old-fashioned, unresponsive company. It's been a real eye-opener getting such complete access to the business and I have seen that they are actually a modern, professional organisation that really does care about its customers and is keen to listen to us.
"I have really enjoyed the opportunity to challenge even the most senior executives and have had regular email exchanges with Phil Bentley and a number of other Directors at British Gas.”
For more information on flexible direct debits visit www.britishgas.co.uk/flex.