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British Gas looks to direct debits

British Gas has announced plans to substantially increase the number of its customers paying their bills by direct debit.The energy supplier is looking to take advantage of the one-day postal strike by Royal Mail staff by highlighting the benefits of paying by direct debit rather than having to rely on the post.British Gas is intending to see a ninefold increase in the number of its customers who pay online or by direct debit by the end of the decade.That would see the number of customers paying online or by direct debit increase to 4.5 million by 2010 and British Gas believes that the postal strike offers the firm an ideal opportunity to kick off that campaign.It has been suggested that the one-day strike will lead to postal problems for several months as workers have to work through the backlog of post.

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