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An elderly client received a statement from their local heating oil company with a balance for immediate payment.

The client was agitated and concerned since to pay would require them to draw on savings. The client could not understand why this was happening as they had a budget account with the company over many years.

Our initial contact with the company resulted in a confused explanation. On the one hand we were told there was no need to pay as budget accounts balanced over a year, on the other that the balance had to be settled immediately or the next delivery of oil would be jeopardised.

We discovered the company had recently been taken over by a national organisation and approached the Finance Director of the holding company. The response was immediate and resulted in confirmation that the document issued to the client was incorrect, redesign of the billing system and retraining of staff at branch level.

Outcome: One query generated a result affecting over 200 people - customers with budget accounts.