The Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) is a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for unresolved complaints with your electricity, gas or water supplier. Before you contact EWOQ with your complaint, you must first try to resolve the problem with your electricty, gas or water company.
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Disconnection & restriction case studies

Further information:

Harsh consequences for person in need

A customer entered into a payment plan with her retailer for an outstanding bill of $400. When the customer missed one payment her gas supply was disconnected. The customer advised EWOQ that she had informed her retailer she was experiencing financial hardship but the retailer did not provide any information about its hardship program or the government assistance available through the Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme (HEEAS). The customer contacted EWOQ to assist with having her gas supply reconnected as soon as possible, to request that she be considered for the retailer's hardship program together with an application for HEEAS, and to be able to reinstate her payment plan at $50 per fortnight.

EWOQ contacted the retailer and arranged for the customer's gas supply to be reconnected. As a result of our negotiation with the retailer, the retailer also agreed to re-establish the customer's payment plan and discuss with the customer its hardship program. In addition, the retailer agreed to provide the customer with information on the government assistance available through HEEAS for customers experiencing financial hardship.

Wrongful disconnection affects apartment complex

In response to a request from the gas retailer, the gas supply to an entire residential unit complex was disconnected by the distributor. The request was made following a dispute with one of the occupants who had not responded to a letter from the retailer addressed to “Dear Occupant” asking them to settle their account. The owner of the unit complex attempted to have the gas reconnected however the retailer would not do so until gas consumption for the “Dear Occupant” account was paid. The account was only addressed to the street number of the complex and not to any particular unit. The disconnection resulted in 13 residential units and their occupants being without gas for cooking and hot water for two nights.

Outcome: EWOQ arranged to have unit complex reconnected the next day. On investigation, it was found that the request to disconnect the gas meter had previously been rejected by the distributor as it would have affected too many residents. However, due to an error, the distributor completed the disconnection upon a second request from the retailer. It was found that the gas consumption relating to the “Dear Occupant” account was for an unmetered service (gas cook top) most likely for a unit resident who had yet to establish an account. The unit complex owner was advised to engage the services of a gas fitter to identify the source of the gas consumption relating to this account. In addition, the owner was offered a $100 good will gesture from the retailer.