A customer was unhappy that he was not able to cancel his contract under a cooling-off clause (March 2018)

Getting connected and changing energy company
Case Number 2017/25478
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

In late October 2017, Mr A entered into an electricity contract with an energy retailer. He later changed his mind, so contacted the retailer to cancel the contract. He was told that he could not do this as the 10-day cooling-off period had ended. The retailer said that the cooling-off period started on 5 November 2017 and ended on 20 November 2017. He said he had not received the retailer’s welcome pack and contract, so believed that the cooling-off period had not started. Accordingly, he was within his rights to cancel the contract.

He moved his electricity supply to another company. The retailer said it would bill him for the time before he transferred to the other company. He was unhappy with this, so contacted EWOV.

The Investigation

We raised an Assisted Referral. However, the retailer didn’t call Mr A back in the required timeframe, so he returned to EWOV and we opened an Investigation.

We reviewed the retailer’s records and confirmed that Mr A’s electricity account was established on 5 November 2017. The records indicated that a welcome pack (and contract) should have been sent to Mr A, but, on face value, we accepted his view that he did not receive it. It was therefore inconclusive as to when the cooling-off period ended.

In any event, Mr A transferred to another company on 26 November 2017. This was shortly after any cooling-off period would have ended had he received the welcome pack. So there was only a small amount of $22.85 owing to the retailer.

The Outcome

The retailer billed Mr A from 5 November 2017 to 26 November 2017 for $22.85. It agreed to waive this amount to close the account with a zero balance. The retailer also gave Mr A a direct contact should he have any other concerns.

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