Mr R contacted EWOV, unhappy after receiving high electricity bills which he did not believe reflected his consumption. He was also concerned that his Centrepay direct debit had increased without his knowledge or authorisation. He explained that if this payment plan continued, he would be put in extreme hardship with little money for food.
Mr R wanted a high bill investigation conducted, the account balance waived, and the retailer to explain why it increased the direct debit. Mr R did not like the term ‘hardship’, so he declined ‘hardship’ assistance from the retailer. Because he was not receiving a concession and was not on the retailer’s hardship program, he was not entitled to receive the Utility Relief Grant Scheme.
When Mr R contacted EWOV an Assisted Referral was lodged with the electricity company, requiring a higher-level representative to contact him directly. We escalated the matter to an investigation after the retailer explained that it would not resolve at that level.
As part of the Investigation, EWOV reviewed information provided by the retailer, which included billing and contact notes. EWOV noticed that the contact notes recorded that Mr R was eligible for a concession, however, no concession had been applied. On further investigation, EWOV determined that the concession had not been validated because Mr R’s address had been spelt incorrectly.
Mr R provided his rates notice to EWOV, so the spelling of Mr R’s address could be corrected and he could receive his concession. The retailer also arranged for the distributor to correct the national database, and asked Mr R to contact it if he had any problems making payments.
Due to EWOV’s investigation, the retailer applied a credit totalling $948.35 in lieu of concessions not being applied for four years. This brought his account balance to $1,131.61 in credit. Normally, concessions can be backdated only up to 12 months.
EWOV explained to Mr R that his bills were based on actual meter readings and that he had been billed correctly. EWOV helped Mr R understand his electricity consumption by providing him with a graph showing seasonal usage on both registers at his property.
Mr R agreed to pay $90.00 per fortnight, which covered his ongoing usage. He was satisfied that a full review of his account had occurred and the case was closed.