A customer experiences issues with a claim following a power surge which damaged appliances (June 2014)

Outages, brownouts and power surges
Case Number 2014/3304
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

The customer experienced a power surge and 14-hour supply outage at her property on 19 December 2013, which damaged some of her appliances. The customer’s refrigerator, ducted heating system, hot water service, microwave, electric stove and clock radio were all damaged. She had an electrician attend her property to inspect the issue and the damaged appliances, and also a plumber to inspect the hot water service. She contacted her electricity distributor about the power surge and outage, however, this did not resolve her concerns.

On 27 February 2014, the customer contacted EWOV for information and advice about the power surge and what steps to take next.  She recontacted the distributor and then submitted a claim form in mid-March 2014. The claim paperwork had all of the original documents including paid invoices from the electrician and the plumber. Despite sending in all of the required documentation, the distributor asked her to complete another claim form and send it in with the original documents. As she had already provided the distributor with the original documents, she was dissatisfied with its request for this information again. Therefore, she recontacted EWOV on 27 March 2014 and an Assisted Referral was raised. The customer was not contacted within the Assisted Referral timeframes so she recontacted EWOV on 8 April 2014 and the complaint was handled as an Investigation.

EWOV liaised between the customer and distributor, and obtained documentation from both parties to confirm the customer’s losses from the power surge and the length of the outage. The distributor confirmed that there was an electricity supply fault at the transformer supplying the customer’s property on 19 December 2013, which caused the outage for just over 23 hours.

The Outcome

As a result of EWOV’s Investigation, the electricity distributor apologised for the delays with processing the customer’s claim and agreed to pay for the customer’s losses, which totalled $1,839.78. In recognition of the customer service issues, it agreed to increase the total offer to $2,250 as full and final settlement of the claim. The customer was satisfied with the outcome and the case was closed.

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