A customer was disconnected after his electricity account was transferred without his consent (January 2018)

Energy disconnection and water restriction
Case Number 2017/27328
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Mr M contacted EWOV after the electricity supply to his property was disconnected. He had not received any bills from his electricity company. He contacted the company, and it advised him that his account had been transferred to another retailer. Mr M called the other retailer, and it advised him that it had billing rights to the property. It said it had requested the disconnection due to non-payment. The retailer told Mr M he would have to open an account with it in order for his electricity to be reconnected. The retailer said that it would backbill Mr M, and sent him a bill for $566, for charges dating back to 16 June 2016. Mr M wanted the retailer to bill him from 15 November 2017, the date he became aware that his account had been transferred.

The Investigation

We opened an Investigation and the retailer reconnected Mr M’s electricity in line with EWOV’s same day reconnection policy. In return, Mr M agreed to pay bills for ongoing usage while we investigated his complaint. It confirmed that his account balance was $566 for billing up to 12 September 2017. We examined the MSATS from Mr M’s property and found that the transfer between retailers had occurred on 16 June 2017. The retailer maintained that because Mr M had been living on the property and using the electricity, he should pay the bill. Mr M had not paid a bill since the transfer, but did not realise until he was disconnected.

The Outcome

Mr M said he would accept financial responsibility for billing beginning 12 September 2017. The retailer agreed that the transfer had been made in error, so it offered to waive the outstanding $566 electricity bill. The retailer said it would send Mr M a revised bill for the period between 13 September 2017 and the present. Mr M accepted the offer and we closed the case.

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