The Northern Ireland Consumer Council and the Northern Ireland Oil Federation (NIOF) have developed an industry first ‘Customer Charter’, which will offer home heating oil consumers service guarantees such as a formalised complaints process, as well as flexible payment options and energy efficiency advice. With all NIOF members now signed up, the principles of the NIOF Customer Charter have now also been incorporated by a Mainland based industry body in the development of its own, separate charter.
Marian Cree, Head of Energy at the Consumer Council says, “Consumer Council research has shown that energy prices are the top concern for consumers in Northern Ireland. Having a Customer Charter, which guarantees the level of service consumers can expect, will also help the market as a whole by encouraging all heating oil suppliers to provide similar levels of service to ensure they are competitive.”
“NIOF members, who have voluntarily signed up to the charter, are dedicated to providing high quality service, however sometimes things can go wrong. The charter also means if a consumer is not satisfied with the response from the distributor member, they can approach the Consumer Council who will take forward their complaint.”
David Blevings, Executive Director of the NIOF says, “The charter provides consumers with information on the level of service they can expect from an NIOF distributor member. This includes a commitment on standards such as quality and measures. NIOF members’ vehicles metering equipment are date stamped and sealed by Trading Standards and a stamped ticket is produced on completion of each delivery. For distributors using electronic meters, these will also show the time of delivery. This gives further assurance to our customers.”
“The charter includes valuable information on payment options for customers, best value, energy efficiency and advice for vulnerable customers”, added David. Consumers who wish to find out more about the charter or who have an issue with any aspect of the service they have received from their NIOF home heating oil provider, can contact the Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.