British Gas: 85,000 customers come back

26 February 2007
Tens of thousands of customers are coming back to Centrica, British Gas' parent company, its new chief executive, Sam Laidlaw, said this week, in the first signs of reverses after the company lost over one million customers last year.

"Since we dropped the prices we're doing very well on sales. Our customers are coming back to us and we're excited about that," he told the Scotsman.

British Gas has sold 85,000 accounts in the last week, twice the normal number, it reported.

Centrica has attributed the reversal in fortunes to price cuts and improved customer services, although Mr Laidlaw acknowledged that "we do have to improve on customer services".

But industry analyst Energywatch has stepped up the pressure on British Gas to slash prices further.

"With the company anticipating further wholesale stability, there is no reason why customers should not expect further price cuts," Eneregywatch chief executive Allan Asher told the Western Mail.

Critics have pointed out that British Gas managed to reap profits of £238 million in the second half of 2006 in spite of losing almost 30,000 customers per day, indicating that the prices it charged its 16 million remaining customers were unacceptably high.

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