Customer sought compensation for loss of cattle after distributor flew overhead (August 2016)

Meters, poles, wires and pipes
Case Number 2016/12865
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Mrs M contacted EWOV dissatisfied that, without notice, the local electricity distributor flew over her property in a helicopter to inspect its infrastructure – causing her cattle to stampede. As a result, gates were damaged and cattle were injured, resulting in some cattle having to be put down. Mrs M advised she was also less than 100 metres away when the helicopter flew over the property and was narrowly missed by the stampeding cattle. The distributor advised Mrs M that it was allowed to undertake these actions but would offer $1,000 for the damage and losses. Mrs M was not satisfied with the amount offered and was seeking between $3,000 and $4,000 to resolve the matter.

The Investigation

EWOV initially raised an Assisted Referral on 17 June 2016. However, the distributor emailed EWOV two days later and requested the matter be escalated to an Investigation.  The distributor then proactively offered to increase its offer if Mrs M provided substantiation of her damage and loss claims. The customer advised that it was difficult to substantiate the damages, as the event occurred two years prior. She also advised that she could obtain a statutory declaration but that she would accept a lower amount of $2,000 to resolve the issue and prevent any further delay given the stress the matter had caused.

The Outcome

The distributor agreed to pay Mrs M $2,000 under the condition that she signed a deed of release. Once this release form was signed and returned to the distributor a cheque would be sent to her. Mrs M was satisfied with the outcome of the complaint and it was closed on 6 July 2016.

Related content

Fact Sheet 39

Switching for customers in embedded networks

Getting connected and changing energy company, Meters, poles, wires and pipes
What to do if you are an Embedded Network customer and want to switch retailers.
Hot topic

Hot Topic − Fair and reasonable (August 2018)

Getting connected and changing energy company, Energy disconnection and water restriction, Trouble paying a bill, Debt collection and credit default listings, Outages, brownouts and power surges, High bills, Billing mistakes, Delayed and catch-up bills, Meters, poles, wires and pipes