Recommendation 12 of the 2017 Annual Report

Recommendation 12 : “Improve customer information in the event of an incident on the network”

1. Customer observation

A professional customer with a car wash called on the ENGIE Group’s Mediator. In fact, he realised that the water in his car wash was cold. He therefore thought that his boiler was down and called a technician who immediately noticed that the gas supply was cut off and called GRDF. The latter then explained that there had been an incident a few days earlier and that, for safety reasons, the gas supply had been cut off in the whole district.
When, on the same day, residents noticed GRDF service vehicles in the street of the incident or found that their heating had stopped working, they contacted GRDF. GRDF turned up to place their meters back in service or troubleshoot directly when doing the rounds to restore the gas supply.

For this complainant, as his customers failed to alert him to the fact that the pressurised water at the car wash was cold, and not hot, he was unaware of this incident and the supply being cut off.

The reason for his referral is related to the fact that the technician who came out charged him for an intervention while the complainant believes that these costs are the liability of GRDF and should therefore be covered by the distributor.

2. Mediation solution

GRDF was unable to prove that there had been a visit to this customer to restore its gas supply or, in accordance with its procedures, to provide him with the document allowing him to restore his own gas supply.
Also, in order to take account of this particular situation, GRDF proposed granting €50 in compensation to this customer, so cancelling out the costs at the centre of the dispute.

3. Generic observation

A professional customer suspected a breakdown of his heating equipment and called a technician to troubleshoot it. The technician realised that the gas supply had been cut off. GRDF then explained that an incident had occurred a few days earlier and that as a safety measure the gas had been cut off in the whole district. The reason for the complaint was that the technician billed the complainant for his call-out. The latter considered that these costs were the responsibility of GRDF and should therefore be covered by the distributor.

4. Recommendation / generic solution

The Mediator recommends that GRDF improve its communication vis-à-vis its customers in similar cases.
So in order to improve its disconnection information service whereby customers can be kept informed of the latest developments, either directly or by subscribing to e-mail or SMS notifications, GRDF should use the customer data at its disposal to warn them proactively by e-mail or SMS.