Customer service issues result in Mr C experiencing an extensive delay with installing a new gas connection (December 2015)

Getting connected and changing energy company
Case Number 2015/22488
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Mr C contacted his preferred gas retailer in June 2015 to request the installation of a new gas service at his residential investment property. The retailer advised Mr C that it could take up to 20 business days to complete a new gas connection and that it should be done by 5 August 2015 at the latest. Based on this information, Mr C advertised the property for lease from 8 August 2015. The property was leased, however, due to a delay with having the new gas service installed, the house was uninhabitable without gas for heating, cooking and hot water. Therefore, the tenants cancelled the lease and Mr C began to lose rental income. During attempts to directly resolve the delay with his gas retailer, Mr C was advised that the retailer had not processed the new connection request correctly on two occasions and this had caused the delay. Dissatisfied that the issue was not resolved after several months, Mr C contacted EWOV on 21 August 2015 and an Assisted Referral was raised.

The gas retailer contacted Mr C as part of the Assisted Referral and advised that it would look into the delay and re-contact him. However, it did not do this, so Mr C re-contacted EWOV on 11 September 2015. The matter was handled as an Investigation due to the timeframes and complexity involved.

The Investigation

As part of the Investigation, EWOV requested all of the contact notes and details of the retailer’s requests to the gas distributor to have a new service installed. Using this information, we created a timeline of events and found that if the retailer recognised its error earlier, the gas service would have been installed on about 6 August 2015. This was about one day later than originally advised in June 2015 but still before the tenants were due to move in. During the Investigation, the gas service was connected on 15 September 2015. Mr C substantiated the lost rental income and cancelled lease by providing EWOV with a copy of the lease agreement and correspondence from the real estate agent.

The Outcome

The gas retailer apologised for the inconvenience experienced and offered Mr C $1,800 in recognition of the delayed new gas service. This was an amount less than what Mr C had originally sought to resolve the complaint. However, with EWOV’s conciliation, both parties were satisfied and the case was closed.

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