Mr A's electricity supply is disconnected due to a previous tenant's outstanding debt (October 2015)

Getting connected and changing energy company, Energy disconnection and water restriction
Case Number 2015/22999
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Mr A was dissatisfied with an electricity retailer for disconnecting the electricity supply to his property due to a previous tenant’s outstanding debt.

He had moved into the property – which he owned – several months prior, after the last tenant had moved out. Upon moving into the property, Mr A contacted his preferred energy retailer and requested an account be set up. He was unsuccessful in doing this and, after having contacted the disconnecting retailer, was advised the billing rights for the property could not be transferred due to the outstanding debt belonging to the previous tenant.

After having spoken to the retailer multiple times, Mr A contacted EWOV and a same day reconnection was arranged.

The Investigation

Due to the complexity of the case, it progressed to an Investigation, skipping an attempt of resolution through Real Time Resolution. During the course of the Investigation, the disconnecting energy retailer advised EWOV that it had not received any notification the previous tenant had moved out of the property, which is what had led to the disconnection. Consequently, previous transfer requests had been rejected due to the previous tenant's outstanding debt.

The Outcome

The retailer confirmed it would accept a retrospective transfer of the account to Mr A's preferred provider upon proof of his move-in date, meaning he would not be billed for the period prior to him moving in. Mr A was requested to make these arrangements within 14 days and to notify the disconnecting energy retailer after the transfer request was approved.

The customer was satisfied with the outcome and the case was closed.

EWOV conducted a separate Wrongful Disconnection Payment (WDP) assessment on the case. This revealed that, after attempting a previous disconnection, the distributor notified the disconnecting retailer a new occupier had moved into the property. Therefore the retailer should have issued occupier notices to the property before disconnecting the supply. EWOV concluded a WDP payment of $53.99 was payable by the disconnecting retailer.

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