An independent retailer has harnessed the power of social media to resolve a long-running feud with his energy company.
Premier retailer Dan Cock of Whitstone Stores in Devon had spent three months attempting to overturn British Gas’ decision to place him on a two-year renewal rate contract after it claimed that it had no record of his phone call asking for his existing contract to be cancelled at the end of its term.
“I’ve been with British Gas for five years and every year I ensure that I cancel my contract just before starting it again to ensure I always get the best deal,” he explained. “However, this year the company claimed that it had no record of my call. It said it would review the tapes and get back to me, but no one ever did.
“I spent weeks making calls to try to resolve the issue, but never got anywhere, so in the end I just had enough,” he said.
Dan took to Twitter, detailing his problem in 140 characters.
“Within one hour of tweeting I received a reply from British Gas, asking me to send a private message with details of my problem, which I did.”
The company’s renewals complaint executive called just a few hours later to say that his contract term had been amended to one year, and that a £165 ‘goodwill’ credit had been added to his account.
“One little tweet that took me less than 10 seconds to write solved a problem that had been causing me headaches for months on end. I’m thrilled, and I would urge other retailers to take to Twitter when they next have a problem,” Dan added.
Earlier this year British Gas became the first energy supplier to announce the end of rollover contracts - to take effect from June 2014.
Meanwhile, Ofgem has introduced new standards of conduct, forcing the UK’s energy suppliers to treat small businesses fairly. Backed by Ofgem’s powers to levy fines, the new Enforceable Standards of Conduct cover all communication between suppliers and business customers when billing, contracting and switching.