A customer is unable to determine why she is receiving estimated bills

High bills, Billing mistakes
Case Number 2018/7444
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Miss C returned home after an overseas trip to find she had received high electricity bills based on estimated meter reads. She reviewed the bills and found the usage for the period she was overseas matched the usage from before she left. The graph on her bill indicated that the usage was the same every day. She contacted her company who acknowledged that the bills had been estimated and that an adjustment would be made. Her company committed to calling her once the billing adjustment had been done.

She didn’t hear back from her company and the next bill she received was also estimated. She contacted EWOV and we raised an Assisted Referral. EWOV requested a senior level staff member from the retailer contact Miss C to resolve the complaint. She received no response and became concerned that the billing would not be adjusted once she received a notification from her distribution network that the meter would be replaced. She returned to EWOV and an investigation was opened.

The Investigation

EWOV reviewed Miss C's bills and the meter read data, and determined that the service to property charges had been calculated correctly, but the basis for the estimated usage charges was unclear. Miss C’s company arranged for the distribution network to review the meter read data. This resulted in the distribution network identifying a problem with the meter data which had caused the usage component of Miss C's bills to be estimated. While some reads had been correct the overall basis of the bills could not be confirmed due to the fault.

The Outcome

The company apologised for the inconvenience, applied $64.51 of prompt payment discounts and waived $185.41 of estimated usage charges. These credits resulted in her electricity account being in credit and a refund of the credit was facilitated.

The electricity meter was exchanged and confirmation that actual meter reads were being obtained was provided to Miss C. Her company provided her with a direct contact for any further queries related to the complaint.

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