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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Account transfer case studies

Further information:

Assistance provided to Public Trustee

The Public Trustee of Queensland contacted us to advised that they were acting as an administrator of financial matters for a vulnerable customer who they were assisting to finalise their current energy account and establish a new account at their new residence. The customer’s electricity retailer had declined to recognise The Public Trustee’s authority to act for the customer and this was preventing the customer from moving to their new residence. EWOQ confirmed that the Public Trustee of Queensland held the appropriate legal authorisation to act on behalf of the customer.

Outcome: EWOQ contacted the customer’s energy retailer by telephone to discuss the issue at a senior level. The energy retailer acknowledged the authority of the Public Trustee of Queensland to act on behalf of the account holder and actioned their request to finalise the customer’s existing account, connect supply and establish a new account for the customer at their new residence. The Public Trustee of Queensland was satisfied with the resolution and the quick assistance provided by EWOQ to assist the vulnerable customer.

 

Customer’s account transferred in error

The customer received a ‘final bill’ from her retailer, and thinking that it meant she needed to pay immediately, paid the account. Five months passed without another bill, so the customer contacted her retailer only to be told that her account had been transferred to another retailer. Concerned that she had not authorised the transfer, she contacted the new retailer who advised that they would investigate and get back to her. Later she received a bill addressed to ‘Dear Customer’ for $472. The customer contacted the new retailer on many more occasions to resolve the issue, but her complaint remained unresolved. She then received a notice that the account was on hold, a final bill for $690, and a disconnection notice. Not surprisingly, the customer contacted EWOQ for help.

Outcome: On investigation, it was found that the new retailer had incorrectly transferred the customer’s account, instead of the neighbour’s property. When this was realised, the retailer set up an account for the customer’s property as a ‘Dear Customer’ account and issued the first $472 bill. As a resolution the new retailer offered the customer a goodwill gesture of a 50 per cent reduction on the amounts owing, leaving $349.19 for the customer to pay. The retailer also arranged for the customer’s account to be transferred back to her preferred retailer.

 

Customer not told about natural gas hot water system

The customer was a tenant in the property for over 18 months and was unaware that there was a natural gas hot-water system in operation. One day, the customer received a ‘Dear Occupier’ letter from the gas retailer, asking the customer to set up an account and pay the amounts owing. After calling the gas retailer, the customer was advised that the hot-water system was connected to the natural gas supply and they were responsible for the costs from the time they moved in. Not pleased with the outcome, the customer contacted EWOQ.

Outcome: On investigation, the gas retailer accepted that they had failed to provide timely notification to the customer regarding the provision of natural gas. The gas retailer agreed to waive the entire bill for the 18 month period, a total of $981.64, and establish an account for the customer who then accepted responsibility for paying the bill in the future.