Local firms sign up to customer charter

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LOCAL oil distributors have signed up to a new customer charter in what has been described as a “first” for an oil trade association in the UK and Ireland.

Donaghmore Fuels, Hayes Fuels, Hilltop Fuels, Joe Kelly Fuels, Kirkland Fuels, Salt Oil and Tyrone Fuels, have all lent their support to the NI Oil Federation initiative, which has been welcomed as a way of delivering increased confidence for customers when purchasing home heating oil.

David Blevings, Executive Director of the NI Oil Federation said: “The charter is a welcome development and will provide consumers with information on what level of service they can expect from a NIOF distributor member.

“The charter includes information on payment options, best value, energy efficiency and advice for vulnerable customers.

“It will also help customers get the most from a distributors’ service, and includes advice on how to make a complaint if they are dissatisfied with any aspect of the service or have ideas for improvement.”

Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council, explains: “We have worked with the NIOF in their development of their Customer Charter, which will give consumers increased confidence when they purchase home heating oil from an NIOF member.

“Sixty eight per cent of homes in Northern Ireland use heating oil as their primary heating source and with such a high dependency on heating oil we need to safeguard consumers.

“The Consumer Council welcomes the Customer Charter as an excellent first step for the local oil sector and with further development it could provide similar support and safeguards that electricity and natural gas consumers have.

“We will continue to work with the NIOF to ensure the Customer Charter works to the benefit of oil consumers in Northern Ireland, as well as working with all oil suppliers, government departments and stakeholders to ensure oil consumers in Northern Ireland get the best possible service.”