© BDS Fuels & BDS Biomass
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Tel: 015242 76575
The Railway Goods Yard
Middleton in Lonsdale
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“Where the best is second nature and nature is at its best”
WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY ABOUT US
First contact with BDS
I’m retired now but when I was still working, I ran a small group of hotels, one in Cumbria and the other three in the South. I’m originally from Lancashire and I reached a stage where I couldn’t stand living in the south any more – too much traffic, too much noise – I think it’s a sign of old age! So I found this old farm house and decided it was better to be living up here and commuting to the south. While we were renovating the farm, Mike Smith from BDS came to fit an Aga cooker for us – that must be around 25 years ago. And as well as supplying our gas we have stayed friends since then. Mind you, if I think his gas prices are getting too expensive I tell him!
Price v. Service
We used to be with one of the larger gas suppliers. They were competitive on price, but the service was poor. It’s very often the same with larger companies. They say they’ll ring back then they never do. They’re all the same; how they survive in business I’ve no idea. And most of them use these call centres now. If you had a problem, you had to deal with a person who didn’t know the area and that could make things very difficult. It’s not their fault of course – they’re just doing a job, but I think that it’s actually bad customer relations for the company.
Helping the local economy
BDS are very local; they are just down the road from us. It’s important to me that I can do business with local people. I like to help to keep the local economy going. And they give us excellent service. It’s very rare that I would have to ring them up to request more fuel…once in a blue moon I should say. They come and top us up automatically. You can get a discount if you pay up front, but I don’t do that with anybody; it’s just a policy of mine. Maybe I’m just suspicious!
I think of BDS as a small, very friendly company. I know most of them only on the phone, apart from the manager, Brian. He’s been up here and sorted out a couple of things for me. He is very personable, but then everyone’s friendly round here in Cumbria – I can say that even though I’ve lived most of my life in the South! What I like about all the staff at BDS is that they constantly excel – I know that if I have any problems I can rely on them to sort it out as quickly as possible. I don’t think they could improve on the service – maybe the price but not the service! But I appreciate that every person has to make enough profit to make a living.
‘Why we changed to BDS’
“We changed over to BDS because we’d been very dissatisfied with our previous supplier of gas. The price we were paying was very high, even when the cost of oil had been reduced, but when I tackled them and tried to get them to lower it, they were very haughty and unhelpful in their attitude. They wanted us to sign up for a 2 year contract, and we felt pressurised into signing up. Thankfully, I found a loophole in the contract, and with the new regulations from the Competition Commission we managed to get out.
Local family firm
We started looking round for another supplier. When we saw BDS’s website, I said to my wife, ‘That looks like a local family firm, more like the sort of firm we want to deal with; let’s contact them.’ We knew from their attitude straight away, you could tell on the telephone, it was obvious that they were much more caring. The admin. staff in the office were polite, pleasant, they couldn’t do enough to help and to explain things for you. Their prices were a lot cheaper than we’d been paying too, and they gave a discount for prompt payment.
‘You leave it all to us…’
The switch over to BDS went very smoothly. They said, ‘You leave it all to us. When you’ve signed the form, you forget about it. We do it all for you; we contact your last supplier and take care of everything.’ And that’s just what they did… we’d changed suppliers before, and we had to hire a crane to get the tank out over the roof of our cottage. That’s what you had to do then…it was ridiculous! The Competition Commission allowed you to transfer the tank, which made switching to a new supplier much easier.
‘Welcome to the fold!’
Not long after the transfer, the driver called round, to check if we needed any gas – well that just confirmed all our thoughts about BDS. He was very personable, shook hands and said, ‘Welcome to the fold!’ You wouldn’t get some of the bigger companies doing that. And he had something between his ears. He’d noticed a few other gas tanks in the village and came with some leaflets to give out if people were interested. He told us about another special offer, which means we can get gas even cheaper still. That will certainly encourage us to make more use of the central heating this winter than we did last.
My wife and I are both pensioners. With the prices we were being charged last winter, we didn’t dare put the central heating on. We went to the lengths of buying a log burning stove and we used electric fires because they were cheaper than LPG.
We have no fear now of turning the central heating on and using it as it should be used. I can’t speak highly enough of BDS. Compared with big four suppliers they are a small family firm. But they are exactly the sort of firm that we want to deal with – and will for a long time to come.”