A credit default was listed without sufficient notification (July 2015)

Debt collection and credit default listings
Case Number 2015/15842
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Mrs D was dissatisfied with her energy retailer for listing a credit default against her name without providing sufficient notification.

Mrs D contacted her energy retailer in early 2015 to advise that her family was vacating the current supply address and to request a final bill be issued.

Mrs D believed that she informed the energy retailer at the time that she was experiencing financial hardship and had established a payment arrangement of $50 per month for the current and final balance.

Mrs D became aware several months later, that a credit default had been placed against her for an unpaid amount of $739. She did not consider that she had been sufficiently informed of the retailer’s intention to place a credit default against her name or that she had been provided adequate support by the retailer after indicating she was experiencing financial hardship.

Her husband, Mr D contacted EWOV on her behalf and we raised an Assisted Referral about the credit default with the retailer. Mr D told EWOV that he would make payment in full of the outstanding amount as he was not disputing the charges, just the credit default listing. Mr D advised EWOV that he wanted the credit default removed from his wife’s name as he had two children and the credit default may affect future credit applications.

The energy retailer made contact with Mr D as part of the Assisted Referral process and informed him that it had made contact with Mrs D back in May 2015, requesting a payment plan of $50 per week as opposed to the $50 per month requested due to the size of the arrears. This arrangement was agreed to, however only one instalment of $30.00 was ever made. The energy retailer also advised Mr D that even if the debt was paid in full, the credit default would remain as it believed the listing had been made correctly.

Unsatisfied with the explanation provided and the energy retailer’s refusal to remove the credit default, Mr D returned to EWOV. A discretionary Investigation was raised as the EWOV Conciliator considered that a more complex investigation may be required due to the financial hardship aspects of the issue.

The Investigation

Through the Investigation process, an EWOV Conciliator assessed a timeline of events using information provided by the retailer, Mr and Mrs D. It was identified that Mrs D had agreed to a weekly payment plan of $50 when contacted by the retailer in May 2015, however the retailer had defaulted the customer only a few days after the first instalment was missed.  The retailer agreed that because of this, the default would be removed from Mrs D’s name, but the overdue amount was to be paid in full prior.

The Outcome

Mr D agreed to make payment in full of the outstanding balance of $739 and the energy retailer agreed to remove the credit default once the overdue amount was paid in full. An extension of two weeks was granted for Mr D to make this payment and it was agreed that this was sufficient time to do so. Mr D was satisfied with the outcome of the Investigation.

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