A customer receives a bill for her electricity usage over two years (September 2013)

High bills, Delayed and catch-up bills
Case Number 2012/20388
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

A customer contacted EWOV after she received a backbill for $4,000.00 from her electricity company covering a two-year period. She attempted to resolve her concerns with her electricity company but was advised that the bill was a result of a locked gate barring access to the electricity meter.

The customer contacted EWOV and an Assisted Referral was raised, after which the electricity company offered her a $300.00 credit to resolve the issue. The customer agreed to leave her gate unlocked in the future, but remained dissatisfied with the bill issued. She sought to have the bill adjusted and to transfer away from the electricity company without penalty. However, the company would not agree to these terms. Following the failure of the Assisted Referral, the customer recontacted EWOV and an Investigation was opened.

The Outcome

Responding to the Investigation, the electricity company advised that, as a result of a locked gate, the bills had been estimated for almost  two years.  During the period when the bills were estimated the customer had been in contact with the electricity company for other issues, but the company had not mentioned that it did not have access to her meter. The electricity company reviewed how far back it had billed the customer and waived all charges greater than nine months, so that billing was compliant with theEnergy Retail Code. This reduced the bill by $1,374.00. The energy company applied a further credit of $1,238.79 as a goodwill gesture to assist with resolving the complaint, leaving the account with a nil balance.

The electricity company also apologised for the inconvenience caused and advised the customer that she could transfer to an alternative company without penalty.  The customer was advised of her obligation to provide safe and unhindered access to the meter in the future as per theEnergy Retail Code. A direct contact at the company was also provided for the customer in case she experienced further billing issues. The customer was happy with this resolution.

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