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FAQs: How will COVID-19 affect utilities?

The Boxfish team understands that many businesses are concerned about how the ongoing COVID-19 situation may affect their utilities—so we’re answering some FAQs, which we’ll update regularly to keep you informed.

FAQs

Are you still working?

Yes, absolutely. It’s business as usual for the Boxfish team, with everyone currently working from home. You can find out more about this arrangement in our remote working statement.

Can we get government assistance?

Yes. As we understand it, there are various targeted economic measures, as announced by the Prime Minister this week. These will change and hopefully be improved as we move forward—and we advise you to review your own organisation’s eligibility, as support levels will vary. You can review the government’s guidance on business support here.

 

Can we get a payment holiday from our utility suppliers?

The Boxfish team have been working hard on behalf of our clients to ascertain the direction of travel on this point, and we’ve been speaking with several suppliers over the last few days.

At this time, the answer from all suppliers is that this is not current policy. We are being told that suppliers are discussing this issue at senior management level, and apparently are waiting on upcoming guidance from the government over the next few days. 

The suppliers’ current policy is to look at payment issues on an individual basis, basing their decision on past payment history (i.e. business as usual). As soon as we receive any more information on this, we will update you.

British Gas and Scottish Power have released statements; however, at the moment, the advice is geared towards private consumers, rather than businesses.

We will of course be reviewing the situation daily, and watching what the government and suppliers do very closely, so that we can keep everyone fully informed and can action any assistance as soon as it’s available.

 

Can we stop our direct debits for BILL payments?

No. You must keep your payments and payment plans up to date, as failure to do so may affect the ability to negotiate with suppliers later when needed.

 

WHY can’t we get through to suppliers on the phone?

Suppliers are still operating—but they are inundated with an unprecedented level of calls. This means in the short term they will be overwhelmed, and potential sickness and absence may exacerbate the problem. There is a high possibility that all non-essential call centres may close as the crisis moves on.

 

Can Boxfish get through to suppliers?

Unfortunately, at this early stage, we are in the same boat with our business contacts—everyone is inundated with calls. But please rest assured that we are reviewing the situation very closely and will keep you updated as soon as we know more. This will be a weekly update until things change.

 

Is there any advice or support from the Scottish Executive or Trade bodies?

Yes, all the current news and advice For Scottish Business Owners can be found at the link below:

Get in touch

If you have any questions in the meantime, you can reach the Boxfish team on the usual office number—0141 226 8525—or by email.

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