ROI - Customer Codes of Practice

  1. Introduction

Vayu has built an enviable reputation with its Customers for offering world class Customer service that is a fundamental part of the company’s ethos.

These Codes of Practice aim to formalise the company’s real world commitment to Customer service by documenting behaviour that is considered to be the minimum acceptable by all Vayu employees. We will ensure that our processes and procedures will i) enable compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements and market design rules and ii) facilitate and support the supplier switching process.

  1. Core Values

World class Customer service is not just a marketing slogan. It is a reality. Marketing, Sales, Contracts and Delivery are indivisible parts of our service. Long term Customer engagement is more important than short term commercial gain and all Vayu employees are dedicated to deliver Vayu’s core values.

  1. Vayu Commitments

The commitments that we make to our Customers cover the following Codes of Practice

3.1   Marketing and Advertising

3.2   Customer Contact and Sign Up

3.3   Billing (including Deposits)

3.4   Disconnection

3.5   Query and Complaint Handling

In addition to these Codes of Practice being available on the www.vayu.ie website, they may be obtained from Vayu on request in writing to: Vayu Limited, 24-28 Tara Street, Dublin 2 or by sending an email to info@vayu.ie.

3.1 Marketing and Advertising

Vayu will strive to protect our Customers against unwanted, unfair or misleading advertising methods.

Vayu will adopt a fair, honest and transparent approach to the marketing and advertising of our products and services. We will ensure our marketing material is easy to understand, accurate, specifies clearly the product being marketed and the period it covers.

Vayu’s employees or representatives / agents will not misrepresent Vayu or portray rival suppliers in a negative or inaccurate way.

Vayu’s employees or representatives will act in a Customer’s best interests and not exploit a person’s inexperience, confidence or vulnerability or apply undue pressure when marketing to a Customer.

We will ensure that the information provided to Customers either in writing or verbally through marketing and advertising campaigns is:

  1. complete, accurate, transparent and not misleading in terms of information that is provided or omitted.
  2. specifies clearly the offer / product being marketed
  3. communicated in plain and accessible language
  4. relates to the products or services which are appropriate to the Customer to whom it is directed
  5. fair in both terms of its content and format of presentation.

Presentation of information on marketing and advertising material:

Vayu will ensure that our Customers are made aware of any change in conditions which may occur once the period of any promotion or offer expires or any additional terms, conditions or charges, which may be associated with the promotion in advance of the customer signing up for it. If conditions are not known at the time of sign up, we will inform our Customer in writing (by email or post) of these changes in advance of their coming into effect and no less than 30 and no more than 60 days before the end of the promotion or offer. 

3.2     Customer Contact and Sign Up

3.2.1    Customer Contact

Customer contact by telephone:

When Vayu, or our representative, makes a telephone call for the purpose of marketing, we (or our representative) will as soon as practicable make known that the call is on behalf of Vayu and clearly identify:

  • his or her name; and
  • identify the purpose of the call; and
  • contact number (if requested by the Customer);

If told by a Customer, at any time during a telephone conversation that the Customer does not wish to continue, Vayu (or our representative) will cease the phone call immediately.

Customer contact in person:

When Vayu markets at a Customer’s premises (without a prearranged appointment) or by personal contact we will:

  • produce an identity card that shows his or her full name, photograph and Vayu’s business address and contact number; and
  • advise the Customer of the purpose of the visit/contact and enquire if the Customer wishes to progress further;
  • At a Customer’s premises, if the Customer does not wish to proceed, then we (or our representative) must leave the premises immediately and inform the Customer of how to be removed from our contact list should they wish to do so;
  • at any other place, if the Customer does not wish to proceed then the Vayu representative will stop their conversation immediately.

Customer contact by email and SMS:

Vayu may send electronic mail or SMS for direct marketing purposes in line with data protection legislation.  Where Vayu engages in marketing via email to Customers, we will provide the following information:

  • Vayu’s name and postal address, email address or other means of electronic contact, or Vayu’s contact phone number; and
  • an easy method of unsubscribing/removing their email address from future messages at no cost to the Customer.

Where Vayu engages in marketing via SMS to Customers, we will provide the following information:

  • Vayu’s name; and
  • an easy method of unsubscribing/removing their email address from future messages at no cost to the Customer in line with ComReg regulations.

Conduct when Customers do not wish to be contacted:

1. Where a Customer has indicated to Vayu orally, in writing, by SMS or by email that they do not wish to be contacted again for the purpose of marketing, Vayu will remove the Customer from their marketing database in line with data protection or any other legislation;

2. Vayu will provide written confirmation that the Customers’ details have been removed from the marketing database, if requested by the Customer. 

3.2.2 Customer Sign Up

When signing a Customer, on opening an account, Vayu will:

  1. ensure the Customer understands it is Vayu they are opening an account with;
  2. confirm that the person opening the account has the authority to open an account at the premises in question;
  3. explain the products being sold and explain the changes associated with them;
  4. explain any discount associated with the chosen product and how this will be applied;
  5. explain how the Customer will be billed, including billing frequency;
  6. explain how long the Customer can make payment against the bill;
  7. explain how long the supply agreement applies for;
  8. confirm that the Customer understands that they are switching to a specified product with a specified payment method;
  9. explain any deposit or charge associated with the product being chosen;
  10. ensure that details of how a Customer’s account information may be used with respect to debt flagging is clearly set out within the sign up process and we will explain how a debt flag may be raised against the Customer’s account;
  11. provide the Customer with a copy of the terms and conditions of the supply agreement, highlight the key terms and conditions and forward a copy to the Customer within an appropriate timeframe
  12. explain any penalty that may apply if the Customer does not meet the terms of the contract
  13. explain to the Customer that their existing account will be closed and the new account opened. 

3.3 Billing (including Deposits)

Vayu has a code of practice setting out processes in relation to invoicing, communication of invoicing information, payment of account, deposits, refund of deposits and credit owed to Customers where applicable. We will ensure that our invoices reflect relevant decisions of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), which require that specific information be transmitted to Customers on invoices / statements within a given timeframe.

Vayu will ensure that invoices are accurately calculated based on one of the following:

  1. actual meter readings provided by the Electricity Network Operator / Gas Network Operator, or
  2. Customer meter readings that are forwarded to the Electricity Network Operator / Gas Network Operator, or
  3. Vayu’s own or MRSO/GPRO generated estimates.

Meter readings ensure our invoices provide our Customers with the most timely and accurate consumption information. We encourage our Customers to provide the Electricity Network Operator/Gas Network Operator with access to meters, in particular where a history of actual reads does not exist at a premises. This will be done on the invoice, invoice inserts and where appropriate through direct mailing to Customers, email or SMS.

Vayu will ensure Customers receive prompt and regular scheduled invoices for their electricity/gas usage as per the terms and conditions of our current regulatory and legislative obligations. If there is an unexpected delay in invoicing a Customer that exceeds one full invoicing period, we will take reasonable steps to contact the Customer to notify them about late invoicing.

Billing Options:

Vayu will issue invoices by electronic means unless requested to do otherwise at the time of signing the supply agreement. 

Payment Options:

Vayu will notify a Customer in advance if there is any change in the amount to be debited in accordance with the supply agreement.

Vayu will notify gas Customers within a timeframe to allow them appeal figures where a revised Supply Point Capacity (SPC) and Annual Quantity (AQ) have been issued for a Customer that will have a material effect on the Customer’s charges.

Deposits:

Vayu has a fair, reasonable and transparent methodology when determining the amount requested from Customers as a security deposit and refund of deposit. This will be determined on the basis of expected consumption and current energy prices.

Invoice Information:

Vayu is committed to providing a clear invoice format which is easily understood and provides all the relevant information required by the Customer. Invoices will be issued monthly/bimonthly based on data from the meter.

The invoice will include the following information:

  1. The Customer name, address and account number.
  2. The invoice consumption period, issue date and due date for payment.
  3. The total invoice amount due and payment options available to the Customer.
  4. Meter readings, upon which the invoice is based, including an indication whether the readings are (a) an actual reading, (e) an estimate (by supplier or MRSO/GPRO), or (c) a reading submitted by a Customer.
  5. The methodology used to calculate the cost elements of the invoice, which are:
    volume of energy used, the applicable prices, detailed fixed charges split where applicable into Distribution and Transmission and any relevant levy amount.
  6. For Gas: the Gas Point Registration Number (GPRN) , Supply Point Registration Number (SPRN), Average Calorific Value, Supply Point Capacity (SPC) and, where necessary, the Maximum Daily Quantity (MDQ), of the Customer.
  7. For Electricity: the Meter Point Registration Number (MPRN), Maximum Import Capacity (MIC), Meter Confirmation Code (MCC), DUoS and TUoS Group.
  8. Vayu contact details for any invoice or service issues.
  9. National Gas or Electricity Emergency Service contact number, as applicable.
  10. Notifications of any changes in transportation tariffs to Customers will be on the bill, or by the way of an accompanying insert.

Closing an Account:

When a Customer wishes to close an account with Vayu that is in accordance with the terms and conditions of the supply agreement, charges will only be applied up to the time a valid switch is made by the Customer to another supplier.

The final closing invoice will be issued not later than six weeks from the effective date of the change of supplier or account close taking place. Where a replacement meter reading is issued to the supplier after the final invoice has been issued and debit or credit may arise. 

3.4. Disconnection

It is Vayu’s intention that the company will never terminate a Customer’s supply agreement before its end date. However, there may be certain circumstances that mean that an early disconnection of the Customer’s gas or electricity supply, as applicable, will be considered. Vayu will engage with its Customers to find a mutually acceptable solution to any problem that would make disconnection an option.

Possible reasons for disconnection:

  1. Change of circumstances of the Customer.
    The Customer may find that their requirements have changed in such a way that they no longer require any gas or electricity supply or the volume may reduce to such an extent that Vayu can no longer supply them under the terms of its supply agreement. In these circumstances Vayu will work closely with the Customer to ensure a smooth transition to the new status. Vayu will not penalise the Customer and will adhere to the agreement terms agreed with the Customer.
  2. Safety reasons.
    It is possible that in exceptional circumstances Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) or ESB Networks (ESBN), as applicable, will consider it necessary for either safety or operational reasons to temporarily disconnect supply. Vayu will work closely with GNI or ESBN to ensure the disruption for the Customer is minimized and that they are fully informed throughout the process.
  1. Non-payment of invoices.

If a Customer has failed to pay an outstanding invoice and if there is no reasonable outstanding complaint in relation to that invoice, then Vayu will consider disconnection as a last resort. We will attempt to cooperate with the Customer in implementing payment plans and other solutions where appropriate. Vayu has a clear and unambiguous escalation procedure for disconnections. In the event that a Customer has not paid an invoice within the terms of the supply agreement, a final notice will be issued to the Customer by way of telephone and/or writing 10 days after the due date.

In the event that no payment is forthcoming by the 5th working day from the date of this final notice Vayu will issue a notice of disconnection, informing the Customer of its intention to request BGN or ESBN, as applicable, to withdraw supply of energy with immediate effect. This notice will specify that costs will be applied for the disconnection, any reinstatement of supply or if the disconnection is cancelled or no access is possible at the premises. It will also note that payment of arrears cannot be made to the person(s) carrying out the disconnection.

  1. Change of occupancy

In the event that a Customer moves out of the property, Vayu will issue a notice, in writing by letter, to the new occupant of the property in advance of a request to disconnect the property due to no new account holder being registered.

Where Vayu is made aware that a Customer has gone into liquidation or receivership, this notice period will be reduced to two days. This notice will detail the cost of disconnection and reconnection of service. It will also give contact details for Customers who wish to make payment immediately.

Where a Customer has reached a settlement with Vayu, they will be reconnected in accordance with their terms and conditions.

Vayu will not disconnect a Customer in any of the following circumstances:

  1. Where a Customer has entered into a payment plan with Vayu and is honouring that arrangement.
  2. Where a Customer is pursuing a complaint using the complaint handling procedures specified by Vayu and the complaint is related to the reason for disconnection.
  3. In the event that a Customer is disputing an invoice, this clause only applies to the disputed invoice until the complaints process is exhausted and not any previous or subsequent invoices which must be paid as normal.
  4. For failure to pay an invoice which is not related to the supply of electricity or gas.
  5. For failure to pay an invoice based on a regular estimate unless it is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

3.5. Query and Complaint Handling

Vayu strive to effectively and transparently resolve a Customer query or complaint in a timely fashion. It may happen that a Customer, or a recognised agency or 3rd party confirmed as acting on behalf of a Customer, will have cause to complain about some aspect of their energy supply or the invoicing process. We are absolutely committed to providing the highest possible standard of customer service. This is best evidenced by the speed, transparency and fairness of Vayu’s query and complaint resolution process.

An individual account manager will be assigned to large Customers and will be responsible as first point of contact for dealing with any complaints. The contact details for the account managers will be provided to each Customer on signing the Vayu contract. Where an account manager is not assigned, the Customer Care team will manage the query or complaint.

Contact details:
Address: Vayu Limited, 24-28 Tara Street, Dublin 2.
Phone: +353 (0) 1 8849400
Email: customercare@vayu.ie

Query resolution:

The account manager or Customer Care team will respond to the query with a resolution within 24 hours in most cases. It is intended that if Vayu can resolve the query internally that all queries will be resolved within 3 working days.

For complex queries, and those that are subject to a third party input and resolution process, Vayu commits to keeping the Customer fully informed at every stage of the process and will endeavour to provide an answer to the query, an apology or some form of redress as appropriate depending on the circumstances and outcome of the initial complaint within 5 working days and to a final answer within two (2) months.

Complaint resolution process:

The account manager will respond to the initial complaint within 3 working days to acknowledge receipt of the complaint and to agree a response time with the Customer for resolution of the complaint. It is intended that if Vayu can resolve the complaint internally that all complaints will be resolved within 5 working days of acknowledgement. Should Vayu fail to respond within these timeframes a reasonable fee will be paid to the Customer. Details of each complaint will be logged and a case number will be assigned to ensure progress is monitored.

If the nature of the complaint involves a third party such as Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) or ESB Networks then the resolution will be subject to the operation of their complaint treatment process.

Vayu commit to keeping the Customer fully informed at every stage of the process. If at any point in the process the Customer wishes to escalate the complaint they may contact the Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO) office. The details of how to contact the CEO are outlined below:

Chief Executive Officer’s Office
Vayu Limited
24 – 28 Tara Street, Dublin 2.
Email: info@vayu.ie
Phone: +353 (0)1 884 9400

If the Customer believes that the resolution process provided by Vayu is unsatisfactory, they then have the option of referring the complaint to the Customer Care Team in the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU). The following link will assist with the logging of a complaint with the CRU:

https://www.cru.ie/home/complaint-form/energy/log-complaint-cru/

Alternatively, the CRU can be contacted:

In writing to The Customer Care Team, Commission for Regulation of Utilities, P.O. Box 11934, Dublin 24
By email to customercare@cru.ie
By phoning 1890 404 404

Please note the CRU can only deal with unresolved complaints that have been through Vayu’s complaints process. Following a CRU review and not later than three (3) weeks after a final decision by the CRU, Vayu will confirm that this decision has been implemented.