Oil distributors aim to raise industry standards with code of practice
The trade association representing most heating oil distributors in the UK and Republic of Ireland, FPS (Federation of Petroleum Suppliers), has launched a Code of Practice and Customer Charter in a bid to raise standards within the oil distribution industry.
Since the industry was investigated by the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) in 2011, the FPS and its members have worked closely with the OFT, Citizens Advice Bureau, Consumer Futures, ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) and DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) to form the new Code of Practice and Customer Charter.
Launched on 1 September 2013, the Code of Practice is designed to ensure all FPS members adhere to high standards and contribute towards the professionalism of the industry. Together with the Customer Charter, the new code should ensure that the best service is offered by FPS members and customers are fully supported when ordering heating oil to make the process easier and more efficient for them.
Mark Askew, chief executive of FPS, said: "The Code of Practice has taken time to implement but we have ensured that we have consulted with consumer groups so the consumer has their say as well as ensuring DECC and the OFT are happy with the proposed Code.
"The FPS will act as guardians of standards for the oil distribution industry and through this Code of Practice we will set those standards and show we take them seriously. Having a Code of Practice in place for FPS members will give the public reassurance that they are dealing with companies who are adhering to best practice."
The FPS has more than 180 members who distribute heating oil across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Its Customer Charter explains what customers can expect from FPS member distributors in terms of pricing, delivery and payment.
"Every FPS member should offer clear pricing and delivery guidance to customers at the time of ordering and the new charter explains all this," Mr Askew added.
"As well as providing information on the different ways to place an order, members should advise on matters such as the right to cancel and what to do when something goes wrong. We are doing everything we can to ensure the customer experience is a positive one."