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Managing claims and disputes

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Managing customer complaints

A2A Energia monitors the complaints that it receives from its customers either verbally or in writing, making special forms available at its desk and through customer contracts and/or on its website. Verbal complaints are dealt with directly by the individual contact centre operators who handle contact with the customer; written complaints are dealt with by means of a specialised structure dedicated to customer satisfaction.
Complaint management is regulated on the basis of the service levels set by the Electricity and Gas Authority, which defines a complaint as “a communication presented in writing by a customer”. The Integrated Consolidated Regulation on Sales Quality (TIQV) establishes the time for providing replies to written complaints as 40 days from receipt, obliging the supplier of the service to pay an automatic penalty to customers if standards have not been met.
The number of written complaints received as a percentage of the number of electricity and gas customers is extremely low, as the following table shows.

TRENDS IN ELECTRICITY AND GAS COMPLAINTS
2010 2011
Electricity + Gas Electricity + Gas
Number of complaints % of “simple” complaints over average number of customers
Number of complaints % of “simple” complaints over average number of customers
2,927 0.14% 2,588 0.13%
Note: the Electricity and Gas Authority defines “simple complaints” as complaints that are the exclusive responsibility of the seller and for which preparing the reply does not entail obtaining data that are the responsibility of the distribution company.

All the complaints received by A2A Calore & Servizi are numbered and recorded and monitored in accordance with a specific procedure, and the time taken to settle complaints is similarly monitored.
The reasons for complaints are analysed and combined together by type, so that the most frequent weaknesses reported may be identified and the necessary corrective action be taken on a systemic basis.
Two complaints were received in 2011 regarding the safety and well-being of residents; one relating to the discharges of machines working close to the walls of the building in question and another relating to a pavement kerb that risked causing the residents of a building to trip over or fall.

In Amsa, any complaints regarding the failure to comply with the contents of the Charter of Services are handed to Customer Services. A precise procedure specifies that the resident must be informed about the checks made in the shortest time possible and in any case not later than 30 days, together with the term within which the company will arrange to eliminate the irregularity encountered and repair any damage that may have been caused (average response time two days via email and nine days via ordinary mail). Five claims were received during the year on customer health and safety, relating to reports of improper driving behaviour by drivers of the company’s vehicles.

In 2011, A2A broadened the extent to which written complaints are monitored in the various Group companies; 4,188 written complaints were recorded in the whole of the A2A Group (excluding Selene, Aprica and Coriance).

Joint settlement procedure: an extra right for A2A customers

With the signing of the Protocol of Understanding with the Business Confederations, the field of application of the Joint Settlement Procedure, a project called for by A2A to facilitate the swift resolution of any disputes with customers, was extended further.
The Joint Settlement Procedure makes it easier to resolve any out of court disputes which may arise in connection with electricity and gas supply relations and which it has not been possible to resolve positively by the internal complaints procedure. This is a simple and quick way of resolving problems and disputes relating to the supply, without the need to use a court of law.
The procedure can only be initiated if preceded by the reporting of a complaint formulated in accordance with the resolutions of the Electricity and Gas Authority which has not been replied to within the terms specified in such or which has led to a reply which the customer believes is unsatisfactory. Access to the settlement procedure is free and may be started up through one of the consumer associations that signed the agreement or by completing the settlement application form available online on the company’s website or at the commercial desks of A2A Energia.
In 2011 A2A Energia was involved in 36 settlement requests, whose outcome (understood as meaning that an agreement was reached) was positive in 58.3% of cases (27.8% regard situations not yet completed but where a solution is on the way). The subjects dealt with by the settlement procedure related to: bills with unusual amounts (88.0%), takeover problems (9.0%) and the recalculation of usage (3.0%).

OUTCOME OF SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES

OUTCOME OF SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES

Management of complaints regarding road works

A2A Reti Elettriche is the focal point for sending complaints regarding the management of road works for the municipalities of the province of Milan.
There was an increase in the number of reports received in 2011, as expected, due to the introduction of the “Ambrogio Project” by the Municipality of Milan.
This project uses an innovative technological system, which through hand-held mobile phones and smartphones provided to 200 city policemen and certain city district committees allows the time required for recording reports made by residents regarding measures concerning maintenance  and urban decency to be reduced to zero. Using Project Ambrogio reports are sent in real time directly to the office in charge, with the resulting saving in time and paper.
The aspects dealt with the most by complaints are those classified as “components” (mainly burnt out lamps or items such as street cabins) and “shafts”.
The most frequent causes of complaint arising from road works regard the delay in restoration work or restoration work not performed properly.

COMPLIANTS REGARDING ROAD WORKS

No. of complaints

Litigation with customers/residents

In 2011 there were 30 cases regarding relations with customers of the various services provided by the A2A Group that were either in progress or had been closed. More specifically, 9 customers disputed the amounts billed, another 9 disputed the consumption of gas or electricity charged and 4 claimed damages for the interruption of the gas or electricity supply. No penalties were inflicted for the failure to comply with laws and regulations regarding the supply or use of products and services.
There were 10 pending cases of litigation for injuries suffered by the public at the end of 2011, of which 9 relating to people falling, with slight consequences, when work was being carried out by or on behalf of Group companies; one regarded a fatal road accident in which a service car was involved that was being driven by a Group employee.