OREANDA-NEWS. June 5, 2012. SWALECs first regional customer forum took place recently at its Regional Headquarters in Cardiff Gate and has been hailed a success by all parties involved.

Independently chaired by Lindsay Kearton, Policy Manager at Consumer Focus, forum members were presented with the unique opportunity for honest feedback and challenging discussion about the specific issues that affect energy customers in Wales with no topic off limits.

A range of subjects were covered, from forum members discussing their experiences with SWALEC, good and bad, to the efforts SWALEC has made over the last year to improve and build trust with its customers.

SWALEC recently launched the second phase of its Building Trust proposals, a package of ten new measures to continue building trust with customers.  It has already delivered on its first ten commitments, including the dramatic simplification of tariffs, the introduction of a sales guarantee to protect customers from mis-selling, fairer prices for all customers and greater transparency into the costs associated with energy.  More recently it has outlined its commitment to offer every customer an annual energy review and a promise to ensure that pre-payment meters customers have access to the cheapest tariffs.

Senior members of SWALECs Customer Relations team and SWALEC Head of Customer Service Gareth Wood were on hand to discuss the issues that mattered to the forum members and Gareth is delighted with the success of the first meeting.  He said:

Right from the start we were clear that this was a no holds barred opportunity for customers to tell us about this issues that matter most to them, what they liked about what we do and what theyre not so keen on.  Some of the forum members had first hand experience of our service and the good news was that the overall majority had received excellent service.

He added: The group enjoyed a tour of the Customer Service Centre and were impressed with the staff that help customers and to get the opportunity to talk directly to them.   We gained some really positive and challenging feedback and we are already looking at ways of implementing some of the suggestions the group made. Forum members were pleased to hear about our Annual Energy Review and have asked if they can be among the first customers to receive one.

Weve come along way over the last few months addressing some of the issues important to our customers, such as improved transparency, reduced complexity and even greater levels of service.  But we know there is still much room for improvement and we are determined our customers will have an important role to play in helping us achieve our ambitions.

We wouldnt be where we are today without our customers and we are extremely grateful to the forum members for the time they have taken to be involved with this and their desire to play a part in helping shape the future of SWALEC.

Forum Chair Lyndsey Kearton, added: As the independent chair of the forum Im very pleased SWALEC is committed to listening to its customers. At a time of rising energy costs its more important than ever that energy companies hear directly from their customers about the issues that concern them most, as well as any ideas they may have for improving how the company does things. Its only then that peoples trust in the industry will be regained. The first forum went very well and Im looking forward to working with the forum over the coming months and seeing how the company responds to the input from its customers when developing future policies.