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.
Free call 1800 OMBUDS (1800 662 837) Complaints  |   Resources  |   Scheme Participants  |   Embedded Networks

Provision case studies

Further information:

Repeatedly told issue was resolved

A customer contacted EWOQ after trying to resolve an issue with his retailer since 2008 regarding a meter used for crop irrigation. The customer had received a final bill for this meter, which he had not requested. Concerned about being disconnected, the customer contacted the retailer and was advised the issue had been resolved. Over the next two years, the customer continued to pay his bills and thought no more of it, until a contractor attended to disconnect the meter. The customer contacted his retailer and was again advised the issue had been resolved. In June 2011, the customer was told by his retailer that he had been illegally using electricity and had 12 days to rectify the situation.

As a result of our intervention, the retailer provided the customer with an accurate bill. However, the retailer sought to back bill the customer for 3 years. This is prohibited by the Code. We again intervened and the bill was reduced by approximately $10,000.

Failure to remove meter

The customer had solar panels and a solar meter installed in 2009, at which time the electrician contacted the distributor and requested the removal of the off-peak meter. This was not done. Over the years the customer contacted his retailer trying to have the meter removed and to be reimbursed for the minimum service fee for the meter. The customer eventually contacted EWOQ seeking assistance.

We contacted the retailer who confirmed that the meter should have been removed in early 2010. After discussing the matter with us, the retailer also compensated the customer by applying a credit to the customer's account, waived the fees charged for the period the off-peak meter was not removed and offered the customer a goodwill gesture of $75.

Request for cheaper water meter rejected

The customer purchased one half of a newly built duplex and applied to the DR for a sub meter to be installed off the existing meter at the premises at a cost of $433. The customer was advised by the council that this option was no longer available and a new meter connected directly to the water main would have to be installed at a cost of $1392. With no other option available to her, the customer paid for a new meter to be installed. After the meter was installed, the customer contracted a plumber to connect the meter to the premises and discovered that a sub meter had actually been installed. Given the significant difference in cost, the customer contacted the DR to request a refund of the difference between the cost of a new and sub meter installation. The customer was advised that the sub meter had been installed in error and would have to be removed and a new meter installed. The customer did not want this to occur as it would have damaged the landscaping she had just completed. The customer sought the assistance of EWOQ.

Outcome: Following EWOQ’s intervention the DR agreed that the sub meter adequately serviced the customer’s premises and would not need to be removed. The DR agreed to refund the customer the difference between the two meters, totalling $939.