Mr X is dissatisfied with information provided by his retailer about his high bill (November 2015)

High bills
Case Number 2015/21031
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Mr X contacted his energy retailer after receiving a higher than expected electricity bill for the period of April 2015 to July 2015. Mr X had compared the electricity bill to one covering the same period the previous year and was concerned that not only was it higher than expected, he also noticed some inconsistencies in the historical usage graphs on the back of the bill that showed different usage for the same periods.

He contacted his energy retailer to discuss this and was advised that his bill was based on actual data, recorded by his Smart Meter, and should he require further investigation into the higher than expected bill, it would come at a cost to him. The retailer suggested that he engage the services of an electrician to audit his household appliances and also indicated that it was not able to provide copies of the data on which he had been billed. 

Dissatisfied with the information he had received from the customer service representative, he contacted EWOV to further determine if he had been billed correctly for the disputed period.

The Investigation

After contacting EWOV an Assisted Referral was raised with the retailer. It was required to contact Mr X within three days by phone or five business days in writing, to provide further information and to attempt to resolve his concerns. 

However, Mr X returned to EWOV several days later after he had received contact from the retailer as he remained dissatisfied. Mr X had been advised by the retailer that the historical usage graphs on the back of the bills were just a graphic image depicting usage over the past year and were an ‘indication’ or ‘estimation’ of consumption and should not be used to monitor his personal usage. The retailer confirmed that his actual bills, however, were based on correct meter reads. 

EWOV escalated the matter to an Investigation and requested copies of the last 12 months of bills, as well as supporting meter data for that period. EWOV also requested that the retailer raise a request for a special meter read to be carried out to confirm the readings provided.  

EWOV reviewed all the data provided by the retailer (and verified as accurate by the electricity distributor) and compared it to the bills Mr X had been issued. Through further review of his charges and consumption, EWOV was able to confirm that the Mr X had been billed based on correct usage and his higher than expected bills were likely to be attributed to changes in household usage or new appliances.

The Outcome

The energy retailer provided an apology to Mr X for the customer service he experienced and Mr X was satisfied with the information that his bills had been thoroughly reviewed and confirmed as correct. The retailer provided Mr X with information on how to log on to an online portal to access and view his usage data.

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