Ireland-based Bord Gais energy supply has claimed to be the first company in the UK and Ireland to launch a multi-lingual automated phone system, which will offer customers the choice of managing queries in Polish, Russian, Mandarin Chinese or Irish.

The interactive voice response service will assist users in obtaining bill and payment enquiries, as well as meter readings and other general customer queries. The service has been available for customers in English since October 2006 and helps customers obtain information and transact on their account.

The decision to upgrade the service to support additional languages has been made in response to the changing profile of customers in recent years given the immigration flow into Ireland.

Commenting on the service, Tracy Kennedy, customer service manager at Bord Gais energy supply, said: We are delighted to be launching this initiative in Ireland and are very proud of the fact that Bord Gais can claim to be the first company to respond, through a multi-lingual automated system, to the many customers who do not speak English as a first language. This venture represents our ongoing commitment to recognizing the diverse needs of our large customer base and to responding to the needs of these new and emerging communities.