EWOV is committed to protecting the privacy of customers who contact us requesting information or wishing to make a complaint. EWOV complies with the requirements of Australian privacy laws, including the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles.
To help you with your enquiry or complaint, EWOV collects personal information. Generally, personal information is information about an individual which can be used to identify that individual. The Australian Privacy Principles outline how personal information should be managed by organisations to make sure the privacy of individuals who deal with those organisations is protected.
We collect personal information from you when you contact us to lodge an enquiry or complaint about an electricity, gas or water provider. We use the personal information we collect to help us respond to your enquiry or to help us resolve your complaint about your provider. You do not have to give us personal information but if you choose not to, we may be unable to help you.
Where we are investigating your complaint, we also collect information about the complaint from your provider. In some cases, we may need to seek information from agents of your provider, such as the relevant electricity or gas distributor.
Depending on the nature of your complaint, we may also need to seek information from other people or organisations. This may include regulators such as the Essential Services Commission (ESC), Australian Energy Regulator (AER), Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) or the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). It can also include other people who may be able to provide information to help with our investigation, such as your electrician or plumber. Where we need to seek information from someone other than your provider or its agents, we will discuss this with you first.
EWOV tries to collect information from the person making a complaint but sometimes we are contacted by someone else on their behalf. If you have contacted us for someone else, please tell them you have given EWOV their information so we can respond to their enquiry or investigate and resolve their complaint. If you are a joint account holder, please let the other account holder know that you have contacted EWOV and that we have their information.
Third parties are individuals not directly involved in a dispute, such as a friend or neighbour. EWOV does not collect information that could identify a third party, unless we cannot properly investigate a matter without that information. Please do not provide any third party information to us unless it is needed for us to resolve your complaint. If you do provide us with third party information, we may need you to contact that person to tell them that you have provided their information to us.
EWOV will use your personal information to respond to your enquiry or resolve your complaint. To do this, we need to disclose your personal information to your provider. We may also need to disclose your personal information to other people who may be able to assist in the investigation, for instance, our external independent advisers or technical experts, or a regulator such as the ESC, AER, ESV or EPA. If you tell us that information is confidential, we will not pass it on without your consent but if we cannot pass the information on this may limit our ability to help you.
We report to regulators, the public and other stakeholders about our activities. However, this information is always de-identified. If we do believe it is necessary to provide your personal information to another organisation, or if the organisation requests your personal information following a de-identified report by EWOV, we will always ask you for permission before we give out the information.
EWOV may also pass on your contact details to a market research company for the purpose of talking with you about your satisfaction with EWOV’s processes. Please tell us if you do not wish to be contacted by a market research company.
We do not usually give your personal information to organisations overseas, but we do use Google Analytics on our website. Information and data collected through Google Analytics is stored on servers in the United States of America, Belgium and Finland.
EWOV uses historical complaint data for a number of purposes, including analysis and reporting to government bodies and regulators, keeping a full picture of a customer’s complaint history so we can assist if the same issue re-emerges, or continuing operational and service improvement such as staff training. EWOV also has regard to previous complaint circumstances and outcomes when assessing what is fair and reasonable. So we can review and use this historical complaint data, we keep our complete electronic complaint records indefinitely.
If you want to have someone act on your behalf, or to have EWOV provide information about your complaint to someone else, you will need to authorise this. Generally, where you have a family member or friend acting on your behalf, verbal authority will be sufficient. Where the relationship between you and your authorised representative is more official, for example, a financial counsellor, solicitor, accountant or other paid advocate, we will usually need you to complete and sign a written authority form. We also normally need written authority if you are acting on behalf of a business. You can discuss how to provide authority with the Conciliator handling your complaint.
EWOV will provide you with access to your personal information when you ask us for access, unless one of the exceptions in the Australian Privacy Principles applies. If you want access to the personal information EWOV holds about you, you can make a request to the Conciliator handling your complaint.
Alternatively, you can send a written request for access to:
The Privacy Officer
GPO Box 469
Please be as specific as possible about the information you are seeking to help us in reviewing your request.