A customer made a claim for food spoilt during a power outage (February 2018)

Outages, brownouts and power surges
Case Number 2017/775
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Ms X had a power outage that lasted almost two days. The outage happened during a severe storm. She submitted a claim form to the distributor seeking compensation for spoilt food in her fridge worth $595. She said this was a low estimation of her loss. The distributor responded with an offer of $300. Ms X was unhappy with this and contacted EWOV.

The Investigation

As an Assisted Referral did not resolve the matter, EWOV started an Investigation. We investigated the circumstances of the outage and how Ms X calculated and substantiated her loss. 

The Outcome

The distributor reviewed Ms X’s claim, and after receiving documents to show her loss (including supermarket receipts) paid $650 in compensation for food lost during the power outage.

Ms X was also entitled to a Guaranteed Service Level payment of $180, due to the frequency and duration of the power outages to her property.

The distributor advised that the frequent outages were due to a ‘clashing of the low voltage conductors’. It fixed the issue by placing ‘spreaders’ on sections of the low voltage conductors. It also completed a ‘phase change’ to improve the power quality.

Related content

Hot topic

How to respond to extreme summer weather (January 2020)

Outages, brownouts and power surges, High bills
Hot topic

Getting summer ready (December 2019)

Outages, brownouts and power surges, High bills