Mandeep, a Finance Assistant at Auriga, describes her work on emergency fuel payments to help customers in very vulnerable situations.

Mandeep manages the emergency fuel payment process – ensuring that customers in vulnerable circumstances who are in crisis and have no money for fuel are quickly provided a voucher to take to PayPoint and Post Office Payzone outlets to top up gas and electricity. We carry out this service for over 20 different clients across the country, one of the largest being Npower.

Keeping the power going to a household in crisis is a big responsibility, requiring professionalism, a quick response and high levels of customer service when issues arise.

Typically, Mandeep deals with around 50 payment requests a week, but in December 2019 requests increased significantly; unexpectedly she had to deal with double the volume against normal seasonal demand.  As Christmas approached, Mandeep was receiving over 100 requests a day for urgent payments to be made. Clients, unable to provide notice about this surge in demand, asked Auriga to help manage the challenging situation.  Alongside managing this increase in payments, other fuel voucher contracted services went live – including work with the NEA – so we had many more new customers to help each week.

Mandeep said “I took it in my stride, I’ve always enjoyed working under pressure and felt really motivated to help people. We made process improvements and I completed all the payments – often working overtime to get through it”. She had the confidence and drive to work through a tough situation – skills gained in her previous job in banking and debt.

On Christmas Eve, Mandeep continued processing emergency fuel vouchers; at 4.30pm she took a call from a customer without power, seeking assistance with a fuel voucher.  Her issue was getting the voucher to work, which Mandeep had processed earlier that day and the customer had taken to her local village PayPoint store.  Mandeep spoke with the customer and worked directly with shop employees to try and resolve the issue.

Unfortunately, the manager was not contactable, and the shop could not address the problem. The customer was highly anxious and asked to try an alternative PayPoint shop, Mandeep explained the closest one was five miles away. Walking alone in the dark, the customer had the support of Mandeep on the phone, for the entire journey.  Fortunately, the staff in the shop were supportive and Mandeep could work with them to process the voucher for the customer – no small task!

When the customer got home at 11.30pm she called Mandeep to say the meter had been topped up – she was overjoyed to have the power on – so grateful she could barely speak.

Mark Abrams, Auriga Chief Executive said: “We are extremely proud of Mandeep, she worked like an emergency service, ready to deal with whatever was thrown at her, to ensure this customer had a warm home for Christmas.”

“Providing outstanding customer service is a major priority for us,” said Kim Wootton, Auriga Operations Director. “We have to be ready to deal with a wide range of enquiries. If there is a problem, then of course customers can be quick to contact us.  Although this is not a 24hr service – Mandeep went above and beyond to avoid this customer facing a crisis at Christmas.”

Latest News

All News
Young woman sitting at a table with laptop and notes. Her hand is placed on her head as if she is feeling stressed

May 15, 2024

Helping to ease financial stress

In the UK, 79% of adults experience stress at least once a month, according to statistics shared by the Stress Management Society. One key stress-indu...

April 22, 2024

Auriga Services helps organisations to reach half a million people in financial need over last 12 months

Midlands not-for-profit grants and welfare provider, Auriga Services, provided financial support services to more than half a million people in need a...

March 7, 2024

Spring Budget actions on personal finances is welcome news with +61% demand for debt advice

News of financial support measures outlined in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget has been deemed logical and necessary due to the scale of the cost-of-...

March 5, 2024

Ofgem price cap reaction: after 143% increase in demand for emergency fuel vouchers

Auriga Services has welcomed the latest price cap on energy bills after allocating over 92,500 emergency fuel vouchers in January 2024.  Year-on-year...

February 27, 2024

Cooking up savings: air fryers and creative ways to combat the cost of living crisis in the UK

As the cost of living crisis continues to grip the UK, people are finding innovative ways to save money and reduce their energy consumption. One surpr...

January 30, 2024

Tackling child hunger: a call to action for businesses in the UK

Food insecurity remains a persistent challenge in the UK for families, particularly those in the poorest 20% of households. According to the Trussell ...

January 12, 2024

Auriga announces new non-executive directors

Grants and welfare specialist, Auriga Services, has announced the appointment of two non-executive directors (NEDs). Mo Ahmed and Nigel Quinton will a...

November 27, 2023

In Perspective – Mark Smith, ​Business Development Manager discusses smart meters

According to research, almost a third of us find ourselves checking our smart meter in-screen display every day as we keep a watchful eye on soaring e...

November 23, 2023

Autumn Statement 2023: Auriga welcomes benefits uprating and National Living Wage rise

Auriga Services has welcomed changes to benefits, national insurance and local housing allowances - but has urged people to continue to access the wid...

November 20, 2023

In what ways can construction companies provide social value following the PPN06/20 mandate?

The construction industry has the power to shape not only physical landscapes but also the social fabric of our communities. Following the introductio...

Smart Meter Anxiety

November 17, 2023

Smart meter anxiety: what is it and how to fix it?

Home and business owners facing an ever increasing cycle of bills, not knowing how they’re going to afford to pay staff or take a holiday, cutting b...

when will the cost of living crisis end?

September 18, 2023

What can businesses do to support their customers during the cost of living crisis?

Following the recent announcement from Ofgem that the energy price cap will be set at £1,923 for the next quarter, there have been calls for the Gov...

Please click here for language/accessibility options