Our form takes around 10 minutes to complete. Make sure you have any evidence ready to upload.
Contact your company
You must try to resolve your complaint with your company first, or attempt to contact them, before coming to us. It’s part of our process and helps give companies a chance to resolve your complaint before it gets to us.
Bring the complaint to us
If you’ve contacted your company and can’t resolve the issue, we’ll usually refer the complaint to a senior person at your company and ask them to contact you about the complaint. They have 3 business days to contact you by phone or in writing, and 15 business days to resolve your complaint.
We investigate your complaint
If you don’t hear from your company or you’re not happy with its response, let us know and we can investigate the facts. Sometimes we’ll go straight to an investigation if it’s a serious case. One of our team members will gather all the information and look into the records.
You get an outcome
We help you and the company reach a resolution based on the facts or we’ll decide on a fair and reasonable outcome to your complaint. Most complaints get an outcome within 28 days.
We can look into:
Billing and payments
Disconnection and debt collection
Supply of electricity, gas and water
Connections and transfers
Customer service and marketing
We can't look into:
Complaints from outside Victoria
Electricity, gas and water tariffs and rates
Solar retailers and installation companies
Legislation and codes
Customer contributions to the cost of capital works
A company's commercial activities
What is an Ombudsman?
An Ombudsman is a fancy name for an independent service that investigates and resolves complaints. We deal with complaints in Victoria’s energy and water sector, covering most companies that offer services to customers.
Who can complain?
If your complaint is about an energy or water issue in Victoria, we can usually look into your complaint. See the What we can and can’t do section on this page for more information.
How can I make a complaint?
You can start a complaint by filling in our online form. You can also call us on 1800 500 509 (free call) on business days from 8.30 am – 5.00 pm. We’re available on live chat from 8.30 am – 4.00 pm on business days. You email us at email@example.com or fax us on 1800 500 549 (free fax).
If you need an interpreter or have difficulty speaking or hearing, please use the following options:
- For an interpreter service, call 131 450 or call us on 1800 500 509 and we will organise an interpreter for you.
- For everything else, we recommend using the National Relay Service.
What will you ask?
When you make a complaint, we’ll ask for:
- your contact details (name, phone, email address)
- the name of your electricity, gas or water company
- the address or the account number the electricity, gas or water is supplied to
- details of the issue you’re coming to us about
- details of what outcome you want
- what your company said when you contacted it about the problem.
If you don’t want to identify yourself, we can still give you general information and advice. However, to make a complaint you will need to provide your name and contact details.
If you’re a joint account holder, please tell the other account holder that you have contacted us.
For privacy reasons, we don’t collect information about third parties who aren’t directly involved, such as friends or neighbours.
What will you do with my information?
To help you with your enquiry or complaint, we collect personal information from you. Generally, personal information is information about an individual which can be used to identify that individual. You do not have to give us personal information, but if you choose not to, we may be unable to help you.
We’ll use your personal information to respond to your enquiry or resolve your complaint. To do this, we need to disclose your personal information to your provider. Where we are investigating your complaint, we also collect information about the complaint from your provider. In some cases, we may need to seek information from agents of your provider, such as the relevant electricity or gas distributor.
We may also need to disclose your personal information to other people who may be able to assist in the investigation, for instance, our external independent advisers or technical experts, or a regulator such as the Essential Services Commission, Australian Energy Regulator, Energy Safe Victoria or Environmental Protection Agency.
If you tell us that information is confidential, we will not pass it on without your consent, but if we cannot pass the information on, this may limit our ability to help you.
The Australian Privacy Principles outline how personal information should be managed by organisations to make sure the privacy of individuals who deal with those organisations is protected.
What does it cost?
We’re free to Victorian customers. You won’t have to pay to contact us or have us look into your complaint.
How long will it take?
Most outcomes can be reached within 28 days. Some simple complaints can be resolved more quickly, however, complex issues can sometimes take longer.
What are common outcomes?
Many complaints can be resolved by us assisting with a referral to a senior person at the company. If the company doesn’t contact you in time or you’re not happy with their response, we will investigate. Common outcomes of cases include:
- the customer and company coming to an agreed understanding of decisions and actions
- the company offering a customer service gesture payment
- the company taking steps to remedy the cause of the issue
- the company acknowledging fault and apologising.
Who pays your bills?
We’re a not-for-profit independent company. Energy and water companies that fall within our scope must become a member of EWOV. Customers of those companies can come to us for free with enquiries or complaints about those companies. The company is then charged a fee by us for dealing with those enquiries or complaints.
Whose side are you on?
Our investigations are not influenced by anyone. We form an independent view of the dispute by looking at what’s fair and reasonable, good industry practice and the law.
If a customer and the company can’t agree, the Ombudsman has the power to make a decision. If the customer accepts the Ombudsman’s decision, the company must comply with it. If the customer doesn’t agree, they may take action in another forum, such as a court.
What do you mean by fair and reasonable?
We aim to make fair and reasonable decisions when we investigate a case. We take into account the circumstances of each individual case when making these decisions.
Read our Fair and Reasonable Investigation Framework for more information.
Can I complain on behalf of someone else?
Yes, if you have their permission to act on their behalf. You can make a complaint on behalf of another person, such as a client, neighbour or family member. You can also make a complaint on behalf of a business.
If you’re complaining on behalf of a family member or friend, they can authorise this over the phone.
If you’re a financial counsellor, solicitor, accountant or other advocate, we usually need your client’s written permission. They can give this by filling out an Authority to Act form.
Read Fact Sheet: Acting on behalf of someone else with an EWOV complaint for more information.
How do I follow up on a complaint?
If we’ve referred your complaint to a senior person at the company, you can contact us again if they haven’t contacted you in time or you’re not happy with their decision. It is your responsibility to contact us if you want us to investigate.
If we’re currently investigating your complaint, you can contact your conciliator directly or call 1800 500 509 and ask to be transferred to them, or email us.