A customer’s electricity is disconnected after receiving higher than expected bills (October 2013)

Energy disconnection and water restriction, High bills
Case Number 2013/45923
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

A customer called EWOV after his electricity supply was disconnected at 10am. Before the disconnection he had contacted his electricity retailer to complain that his bills were too high. Normally his bills are $200 a month, but they had increased to over $400, which he did not believe was accurate.  On two occasions he asked that his retailer inspect the meter, but was advised this would cost $280. The customer was dissatisfied with the cost of the meter inspection and did not pay his bills in full as he believed they were incorrect.

The customer contacted his electricity retailer after his electricity supply was disconnected. The retailer advised he would have to pay $616 in order to be reconnected. He paid this amount, however, an hour and a half later as he was still not reconnected and was not satisfied that the bills were correct, so he decided to contact EWOV. The reconnection was delayed until 6:30pm. EWOV opened an Investigation.

The Investigation

As a part of EWOV's investigation, an assessment was completed to ensure the disconnection was compliant with the requirements of the Energy Retail Code. EWOV found that the customer’s electricity had been disconnected prior to the date stated on the disconnection warning notice sent to the customer and therefore the disconnection was found to be wrongful. As a result, the customer was entitled to a Wrongful Disconnection Payment of $88, based on the length of time the property was disconnected.

The Outcome

EWOV also investigated the customer’s billing concerns and found that since the establishment of the account the retailer had issued bills based on actual meter read data supplied to it by the distributor and that the billing was correct and payable. The retailer apologised for the time, effort and inconvenience the matter had caused the customer. To recognise this the retailer applied a credit of $100 to his account. The customer was satisfied with this outcome.

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