CODE OF PRACTICE by jennyyingdi


									                    CODE OF PRACTICE

Provision of services for vulnerable domestic customers (including the
  deaf and blind), arrangements for accessing domestic customers
             premises’ and complaint handling procedures
Wales & West Utilities Limited


About this Code of Practice
This leaflet sets out when and how you might expect to be contacted by Wales & West Utilities and
how you can get in touch with us to enquire or complain about any service we provide. It also details
the steps Wales & West Utilities takes to ensure that only properly trained Wales & West Utilities staff
or contractors make visits to your home and the special services available for customers who are
blind, partially sighted, deaf or hearing impaired.

On request we will provide a copy of this leaflet to you free of charge. If you require we can also
provide you with a copy of this leaflet in audio, in large print or in Braille. If English is not your first
language please contact us and we will provide the necessary assistance to help you understand its

Wales & West Utilities and Its Customers
Wales & West Utilities is a gas transportation company. It is responsible for looking after over 36,000
km of pipeline, delivering gas to over 2.3 million domestic, industrial and commercial customers in the
Wales & West area.

The freephone National Gas Emergency Service is run by National Grid on behalf of all gas
transportation companies including Wales & West Utilities. This operates 365 days a year, 24 hours a
day and calls are free of charge. Wales & West Utilities is responsible for attending reported gas
emergencies inside or outside your home and business in Wales & West Utilities’ area.

                                If you ever smell gas, call free on:

                                             0800 111 999

All calls to this emergency number are recorded and may be monitored. Remember, the gas
emergency service is open all the time – every day of the year, 24 hours a day and your call will not
cost you anything.

If you are deaf or hearing impaired and have a Minicom or Textphone you can use it to call the gas
emergency service.

The Minicom number is: 029 2027 8707

The operator who takes your details will ask you if there are any special circumstances Wales & West
Utilities needs to know about when we call. It will help us to help you if we know of any special needs
such as visual or hearing impairment or difficulties with mobility.

If English is not your first language don’t worry, you can still call the gas emergency service on 0800
111 999 and they will find an interpreter who can translate for you.

Wales & West Utilities does not sell gas but ensures it is piped to you in a safe and efficient manner.
The companies that do sell you gas are called gas suppliers, and you should contact your gas
supplier if you have any questions about buying gas, your gas bill or meter reading. You can find your
supplier’s telephone number on your gas bill or statement.

Gas emergencies
Wales & West Utilities may also need to visit you to deal with a reported gas emergency. If we are
called to your home, we will abide by this code of practice.

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Wales & West Utilities Limited

If it is necessary - for safety reasons – for Wales & West Utilities to disconnect the gas supply to your
home and you fall into one of the following three categories, we will seek to provide you with
alternative temporary heating and cooking facilities.

The categories are:

            •     You are disabled, chronically sick, or of pensionable age;

            •     You live with anyone who is disabled, or chronically sick, of pensionable age or a

            •     You are included on the Priority Service Register (PSR - see information below) run
                  by your gas supplier.

However, it is Wales & West Utilities’ policy to be sympathetic to the needs of other consumers as
well as those covered by the three categories. We will always try to make sure that in exceptional
circumstances, temporary heating and cooking needs are met, using local judgement on a case-by-
case basis. When we call, please tell us if you have any special needs we should know about.

Working in the highway
During the essential maintenance and repair of the gas distribution system to ensure continued safe
operation, there may be some inconvenience caused. We will try to use the most up to date
techniques to help keep disruption to a minimum.

We endeavour to ensure:

    •   Not less than 5 working days notice of any planned mains or service replacement works in
        your road, to inform you of an expected date when, and an explanation of the need for, an
        interruption to your gas supply as a result of our planned activities.

    •   All vehicles and plant will be parked safely avoiding obstruction to the road and driveways etc.

    •   Where it is necessary to excavate across access roads and driveways we will always speak
        to the property owners concerned before starting the work.

    •   The site will be left in a safe and tidy condition at the end of each working day.

    •   Wales & West Utilities staff and its contractors will act professionally and courteously at all

Entering your home
From time to time Wales & West Utilities may need to visit your home to inspect or maintain gas
equipment on your property, to deal with a reported gas emergency or to complete a visit requested
by yourself for work to be done. The visit will either be made by a Wales & West Utilities employee or
a contractor working on our behalf. Wales & West Utilities has arrangements in place so that you can
be sure that only properly trained Wales & West Utilities staff or contractors make visits to your home.
If you wish to confirm the identity of the person visiting your premises you can call the number on the
back of their identity card and we will confirm whether the person is an authorised representative
working on Wales & West Utilities’ behalf.

We will ensure:

    •   Wales & West Utilities’ staff and contractors are fit and proper persons to enter your home.

    •   Wales & West Utilities’ recruitment procedures involve appropriate background checks such
        as checking references.

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Wales & West Utilities Limited

    •   Wales & West Utilities’ staff and contractors are appropriately qualified and fully trained for
        the purpose of the visit and will be courteous at all times in their dealings with you, without
        showing undue familiarity. They will give clear, accurate explanations using appropriate and
        sensitive language and will respect your property and premises.

    •   All authorised Wales & West Utilities employees and contractors show you an identity card
        displaying the company name, their own name, a reference number, and a colour photograph
        of the individual.

    •   Where possible, all vehicles used for visits to your premises will carry the Wales & West
        Utilities or contractor’s logo.

    •   Where possible, all Wales & West Utilities employees and contractors wear branded clothing
        indicating they are representing Wales & West Utilities.

    •   All Wales & West Utilities employees and contractors are able to tell you the National Gas
        Emergency Service telephone number.

    •   Wales & West Utilities take all necessary steps to ensure that all ID cards are returned when
        an employee leaves the company or following the expiry date of the card.

    •   Wales & West Utilities' staff and contractors will only enter your property to carryout non
        emergency work where there is a responsible adult present. Where only a minor (age 14 or
        under) is at the property, we will return to complete any non emergency work at such a time
        when there is an adult available to grant permission.

Wales & West Utilities will ensure that its employees and contractors are aware of the contents of this
leaflet and comply with it at all times.

Priority Service Register (PSR)
Your gas supplier has licence obligations to maintain a register and to offer special help to customers
who are of pensionable age, disabled (including customers who are blind or partially sighted, or deaf
or hard of hearing) or chronically sick. In addition to a number of other free benefits, by registering on
the Priority Service Register through your gas supplier, you would be entitled to receive free gas
safety inspections of appliances and pipework on your side of the gas meter if all the adults in your
household qualify to be on the PSR. Similarly, if you are on the PSR and your gas supplier requests
that we move your gas meter to allow you to access to it more easily, we will charge your supplier for
this work and not you. Gas suppliers also operate password schemes through the Priority Services
Register. If you arrange an appointment with Wales & West Utilities through your gas supplier, the
person visiting you will use the password that is recorded on the Register. Please contact your gas
supplier if you would like to receive further information regarding the free services available to you.

If you are not on the Priority Services Register, are blind or partially sighted or if you would like to feel
more secure, we can agree a password with you when we make an appointment. We will quote this
when we visit you so you will know the caller is genuine.

Complaints and Customer Satisfaction

If there is a problem with the service you have received from Wales & West Utilities, then please
contact us in writing, by email or by telephone. It would be helpful, when contacting us, if you can
provide any information about your case i.e. reference numbers so that we can deal with your

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Wales & West Utilities Limited

complaint more quickly. Wales & West Utilities treats all complaints seriously and confidentially. Your
complaint will be handled in a courteous, prompt and straightforward manner.

How to contact us

We will be better able to help you if we can pass your complaint / query to the person best able to
deal with it. Please choose the most appropriate contact from the descriptions below.

For complaints relating to the installation, removal, exchange or maintenance of a National Grid
Meter, please call 0845 606 6766.

For complaints relating to your gas bill, please contact your gas supplier.

For complaints relating to repairs of gas escapes, mains replacement activities, gas equipment
maintenance (but not household appliances) and gas connections or any other gas related network
issue please contact:

Customer Services
Wales & West Utilities Ltd
Wales & West House
Spooner Close, Celtic Springs
NP10 8FZ

Telephone: 0800 2946645
Email address:

If you are deaf or hearing impaired and have a Minicom or Textphone you can use it to call our
customer services team on 029 2027 8707.

Wales & West Utilities use the information gathered from complaints to highlight shortcomings in the
service we provide in order to make improvements.

Stages of our complaints process

Stage 1 – Review by the Customer Services Team

When you contact us we will call you (or write to you if you have not informed us of a contact
telephone number), within 2 days of receiving your complaint to let you know we have received your
complaint. We will then investigate your issue(s) fully and answer your complaint within 10 working
days of receiving your complaint.

If an answer is not possible within this timescale, or a visit to your premises is required to resolve your
complaint we will:

    •   Agree a mutually convenient time with you for the visit to your premises if necessary.
    •   Issue you with an initial written reply within 10 working days of receiving your complaint. This
        initial response will give you details of who you can contact regarding your complaint and will
        also inform you of the date when we will issue you with a substantive response.
    •   Keep you informed of progress and where action is required by Wales & West Utilities to put
        things right, we will try to resolve the matter promptly.
    •   Issue the answer within 20 working days from receiving your complaint.

The different remedies you can expect from our complaints resolution will include:

    •   An apology where we have failed to provide a satisfactory level of service.
    •   An explanation addressing the issue(s) that you have raised.
    •   Take any appropriate remedial action.

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Wales & West Utilities Limited

    •   Awarding compensation where applicable under our Guaranteed Standards of Service as
        prescribed and monitored by our regulator OFGEM and or
    •   Awarding a good will payment if appropriate to the circumstances.

Stage 2 - Referral to a Senior Manager.

If you are not happy with the way that the Wales & West Utilities Customer Service team has dealt
with your complaint, you can request for the matter to be escalated to a Senior Manager. If you make
this known to the Customer Service Representative, arrangements will be made for the Senior
Manager to contact you within 5 working days either by telephone, e-mail or letter, whichever you
advise us is most convenient for you.

Stage 3 – Final Review by a Member of the Executive Team.

If after discussing your complaint with the Senior Manager, you are still not satisfied, you can ask for
your complaint to be escalated further for a formal review by Mark Oliver who is our Director of
Business Services. You will be contacted within 5 working days by the method of communication
which you have previously advised us as being most preferable.

Stage 4 – Energy Ombudsman

We will do all we can to solve your problem by working with you. However, if you are still unhappy
with our actions and you have followed stages 1-3, you have the right to contact the Energy
Ombudsman where we have not reached a satisfactory resolution within 8 weeks of you making your
complaint, or if we issue you with a “deadlock” letter. This is a free and independent dispute resolution
service. The Ombudsman will ask you for a full account of your dealings with us and they will also
contact us to gain a factual understanding of the case from our perspective. The Ombudsman will
make a final decision and inform you of the outcome.

The contact details for the Energy Ombudsman can be found below:

Energy Supply Ombudsman
PO Box 966

Telephone: 0845 055 0760
Fax: 0845 055 0765

Other sources of consumer information, help and advice:

        The Citizens Advice Bureau – contact         Consumer Direct
        your local area office or access their web
        site using the following web site            Telephone: 08454 04 05 06
        addresses.                                   Welsh speaking line: 08454 04 05 05
                                                     Minicom: 08451 28 13 84
        Age Concern                                  National Consumer Council                        20 Grosvenor Gardens
                                                     London SW1W 0DH
        Telephone: 0800 00 99 66                     United Kingdom

                                                     Telephone: 020 7730 3469
                                                     Fax: 020 7730 0191
                                                     Minicom: 020 77303469


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 Wales & West Utilities Limited

 Standards of Service

 Wales & West Utilities’ activities are covered by a range of standards of performance. These
 standards cover things like restoring supplies and connections. You may be eligible to receive
 compensation payments if Wales & West Utilities does not meet some of these standards. In such
 cases, Wales & West Utilities makes compensation payments to you directly or via your gas supplier.
 The table below describes our Guaranteed Standards of Service and the compensatory value for
 failure to meet each standard.

Standard          Summary of Requirement                                    Compensation for failure to
                                                                            meet requirement
Supply            Where domestic and small non domestic customers’          £30 Domestic £50 Small Non
Restoration       gas supply is interrupted, restore supplies within 24     Dom, and for each succeeding
                  hours.                                                    24 hour period until supplies
                                                                            are restored.

Reinstatement     Reinstatement on the customers premises to be             £50 Domestic £100 Non Dom,
of Customers      completed within 5 working days following any work        and for each succeeding
Premises                                                                    period of 5 working days until
                                                                            reinstatement is completed.
Priority          Where priority domestic customers gas supply is
Domestic          interrupted alternative heating and cooking facilities
Customers         are to be provided at the customers premises

                  4 hours where prior notice of the interruption is given   £24 Domestic
                  4 hours where less than 250 premises are affected         £24 Domestic
                  8 hours where 250 or more premises are affected           £24 Domestic

                                                                            Only on receiving a claim for
                                                                            compensation from a

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 Wales & West Utilities Limited

Standard           Summary of Requirement                                   Compensation for failure to
                                                                            meet requirement
Connections        Issue a standard quotation in 6 working days for         £10 Domestic £10 Non Dom,
                   new or altering an existing connection up to 275kWh      and for each day failure
                   per hour                                                 continues

                   Issue a non-standard quotation in 11 working days        £10 Domestic £10 Non Dom,
                   for new or altering an existing connection up to         and for each day failure
                   275kWh per hour                                          continues
                   Issue a non-standard quotation in 21 working days        £20 Domestic £20 Non Dom,
                   for new or altering an existing connection greater       and for each day failure
                   than 275kWh per hour                                     continues
                   Respond to land enquiry in 5 working days for a new      £40 Domestic £40 Non Dom,
                   or altered existing connection                           and for each day failure
                   Within 20 days of acceptance of a quotation, offer a     £20 Domestic £20 Non Dom,
                   date for commencement of works on the connection         and for each day failure
                   and substantial completion on specified days up to       continues
                   275kWh per hour
                   Within 20 days acceptance of a quotation offer a         £40 Domestic £40 Non Dom,
                   date for commencement of works on the connection         and for each day failure
                   and substantial completion on specified days greater     continues
                   than 275kWh per hour
                   Substantially complete a connection on the date          Domestic and Non Domestic,
                   agreed with the customer with quoted cost to             and for each day failure
                   customer of :-                                           continues:-
                   i) up to and including £1000                             £20
                   ii) over £1000 to £4000                                  Lesser of £100 or 2.5% of
                                                                            contract sum
                   iii) over £4000 to £20000                                £100
                   iv) over £20000 to £50000                                £100
                   v) over £50000 to £100000                                £150
                   Fails to provide an accurate quote                       Refund any overcharge
Notification and   Write to the customer or shipper as appropriate and      £20
Payments           pay the compensation within 20 working days
Prior notice of    Give the customer at least 5 days prior notice, of the   £20 Domestic £50 Non Dom
planned            expected date and the need for, a planned
interruptions to   interruption to gas supply                               Only on receiving a claim for
gas supply                                                                  compensation from a
Complaints         On receipt of a Complaint, issue a substantive           £20 Domestic £20 Non Dom,
                   response within 10 days                                  and for each succeeding
                                                                            period of 5 days until a
                                                                            substantive response is issued
                   Where a site visit or enquiries to 3rd party’s are
                   required before a substantive response can be
                   (i) Write to the customer within 10 days to inform       £20 Domestic £20 Non Dom,
                   them that a substantive response to the complaint        and for each succeeding
                   will be issued within 20 days                            period of 5 days until an initial
                                                                            response is issued
                   (ii) Issue a substantive response to the complaint       £20 Domestic £20 Non Dom,
                   within 20 days                                           and for each succeeding
                                                                            period of 5 days until a
                                                                            substantive response is issued

 You can find more details of our Company on our web site:

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