British Gas pens open letter in a bid to communicate with customers

British Gas has penned an open letter to its customers in today's national newspapers to invite them to give feedback on the firm.

Open letter to media: British Gas

The full-page advertisement also informs customers that it is ending estimated billing in an effort to help customers with their monthly budgets.
‘We wanted to give people access to the business and to empower them,' said a British Gas spokeswoman. ‘We are interested in hearing what is on the minds of customers during these tough times. We used the national papers to reach as many people as possible.'
The ads have appeared in papers including The Sun, the Daily Mail and The Times this morning.
The letter tells customers that British Gas understands that they are under financial pressures and that it will no longer use estimated bills.
The letter also reveals that the company is launching a ‘customer panel', which invites customers to come into the business, meet staff and ask whatever they like. They will also be asked to report back publicly on what they have found.
3 Monkeys founder Angie Moxham said: ‘This campaign demonstrates a company that wants an open dialogue with consumers and transparency. It's a PR campaign using advertising as a core communications channel and I think we're going to see a lot more of that.'
She added: ‘Any brand that tries to honestly support its customers through difficult times will win loyalty from its existing base and attract new ones. It's not new, but it is effective.'
However, Pretty Green founder Mark Stringer said: ‘Consumers have seen gas prices rise by over 15 per cent, and utility companies seem to still be making huge profits. Being more transparent is great, but quite simply consumers want lower prices when profits are being made. They also don't want token gestures, they want meaningful actions.'
He added: ‘As it's becoming easier to switch all the utility companies are looking to drive brand loyalty and make their service more attractive, but fundamentally the token touch points need to be backed up with high service levels and competitive prices.'

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