The announcement by British Gas that it intends to raise prices by 7% this winter led to the company becoming a trending topic on Twitter as disgruntled customers voiced their complaints.
A statement by the energy company claims that the average rise of 7% will not be applied to the 300,000 most vulnerable customers until April. However customers are turning to Twitter to express their anger at price rises before the festive winter period.
This is not the first time social media has been used as an outlet for consumer complaints. In the United States T-mobile resolved several customer complaints after users took to Twitter to express their grievances, and in 2005 American journalist Jeff Jarvis shot into the limelight after blogging about poor customer service at computer company Dell.
In response to the increasing numbers of customers turning to the internet to express their dissatisfaction a large number of companies such as international clothing retailer ASOS and British telecommunications company BT have created social networking accounts on sites such as twitter or facebook in order to respond faster to customer complaints or queries.
The topic, trending on November 12 under #Britishgas, has attracted tweets which range from the factual to the outraged, and the humorous.
A selection of related tweets:
katebevan: "Dear British Gas. Please f**k off. This is outrageous"
lucyandian2306: "BG should change their slogan to 'old ladies pay your gas bill or go to prison...British Gas, we get our monies worth, don't you worry"
paulalexboyd: "So, today is the first day in 2 weeks that British Gas hasn't phoned to warn me that my energy provider is about to raise energy prices. Funny."
designcredo: "pensioners will be too cold for direct action due to British Gas 7% increase"
The topic can be found under: http://twitter.com/#!/search/British%20Gas