Miss A received a seven year bulk hot water backbill after moving into a new property (January 2016)

High bills, Billing mistakes, Delayed and catch-up bills
Case Number 2015/35154
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Miss A moved into a new property on 28 September 2015 and had set up electricity and gas accounts with her preferred retailer. However, on 6 November 2015, Miss A received a backbill from the building’s bulk hot water gas retailer for just over $1,850.00. The bill was backdated to 2008. She called the retailer and spoke to several different people who provided conflicting information about the bill and her ability to change retailer. Unable to resolve the backbill issue and start the account from the date she moved in, Miss A contacted EWOV on 16 December 2015 and an Assisted Referral was raised. However, Miss A was not contacted by the retailer so she re-contacted EWOV on 22 December 2015 and the complaint was handled at Real Time Resolution. However, this did not resolve Miss A’s concerns so the matter was moved to an Investigation on 24 December 2015.

The Investigation

EWOV reviewed the contact notes between Miss A and the retailer, which confirmed that Miss A had been provided with incorrect information by the retailer that she could change retailers for the bulk hot water account. This is not the case as the bulk hot water retailer supplies all of the residents of the building and it is the decision of the owners’ corporation or building management to change retailers. EWOV also confirmed that Miss A moved in on 28 September 2015, and should only be billed from this date.

The Outcome

The retailer apologised for the inconvenience caused by this matter and acknowledged that it provided Miss A with incorrect information. In recognition of this, the retailer applied a $200 credit to the newly created account which billed Miss A from 28 September 2015. The retailer also confirmed that the backbill had not been referred to a debt collector and had not affected Miss A’s credit rating. Miss A was satisfied with the outcome and the case was closed.

Related content

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
Hot topic

Estimated meter reads (July 2018)

Billing mistakes, Delayed and catch-up bills, Meters, poles, wires and pipes