I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new Managing Director of British Gas Business (BGB).Â I may have met many of you before in my previous role of leading Business Services within BGB.
Our network of brokers is vital to our businesses and so I felt it was important that I give you an update about the challenges we’ve faced following our move to our new billing system.
The roll-out of our system did not go as smoothly as we would have liked. Key activities such as getting customers on supply on time, invoicing Climate Change Levies accurately, producing Carbon Reduction Commitment statements and reporting were all affected.
Some of our business customers were initially impacted by registration delays and we’ve already contacted those who were affected. Our registration performance is now starting to return to normal. Our larger customers with complex billing requirements have been most affected by the migration and we’re also writing to them to apologise for the issues they’ve experienced.
However, the move to our new system has enabled new online services where we’ve seen very positive customer feedback. More than 50,000 SMEs are now viewing and downloading bills, entering meter readings and making payments in real-time.Â We’re continuing to develop our online service so that it also meets the needs of our larger customers.
More support for our customers
We recognise that additional support is needed for all larger businesses on a day-to-day basis, so we’ve already brought in an additional 450 technical specialists and Customer Relationship Managers to help to solve the issues more quickly. Customers will start to see improvements in our service levels.
Many of the problems are complex and interdependent on other fixes before they can be resolved. However, our key focus is to get our bills right for our customers. I’m pleased to say that we are making good progress, though it has taken longer than expected.
Service updates and recent fixes
We’ve implemented a number of system fixes over the last few weeks which we’d like to let you know about:
â€¢ Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) statement delays – this problem has been fixed and all statements were sent out to customers by 31st July.
â€¢ Climate Change Levy (CCL) re-billing – a fix for this issue was released in June and so the majority of problems have now been resolved. We do still have a small number of outstanding technical CCL issues which we’re now fixing on a customer by customer basis.
â€¢ Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) bills – a fix was implemented on the 1 July to improve the accuracy of our electronic invoicing and (if applicable) customers will start to see these changes on their invoices.
â€¢ Billing Performance – in July, our billing production performance returned to the levels we achieved before the migration to the new platform in 2014. However, we know that this is still not good enough and we are looking to further improve this together with our billing accuracy.
With the extra investments in resource and the prioritisation of fixes and fine-tuning of our system, we aim to increase our successful billing rate beyond 95% by the end of 2015 and deliver a much improved level of service.
If you have any further questions or wish to know more about any of the points raised here, please contact your Business Development Manager or Account Executive.
I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience that this migration may have caused to your business and thank you for your patience and continued support.