Our cases

The figures and the issues

At a glance

During 2020-21, the top three primary issues customers contacted us about were billing, credit and provision, which was consistent with 2019-20.

Billing remains the most common issue that customers contact us about, accounting for 58 per cent of the complaints we closed in 2020-21.

Credit-related issues such as payment difficulties or disconnection accounted for 11 per cent, and provision 10 per cent of the complaints we closed.

In detail

The total number of complaints closed in 2020-21 decreased by 22 per cent from 2019-20. This was largely driven by a drop in the number of credit cases. We received 518 complaints related to credit issues, such as payment difficulties, collections and disconnection, during 2020-21, compared to 1,075 in 2019-20.

This reduction can be attributed to the Australian Energy Regulator’s Statement of Expectations outlining the additional assistance that retailers should offer to customers experiencing financial stress. These included deferred debt arrangements, payment plans and a hold on disconnections and referral to debt collection.

These measures applied to customers who contacted their retailer to let them know they were having trouble paying their bills.

There were 181 complaints related to COVID-19 during 2020-21, which represents four per cent of total complaints closed.

Another complaint trend of interest is the number of Level 3 investigations (the most complex investigations), which increased by 16 per cent this year.

Level 3 investigations are the most complex type of complaint we manage and can take many hours, across a number of weeks to resolve.

The Level 3 investigations closed in 2020-21 took an average of 10.7 hours to resolve, with the longest being 24.6 hours.

In 2020-21, we closed a total of 1,237 investigations (down from 1,897 in 2019-20) with 428 closed as  Level 2 investigations and 104 closed as Level 3 investigations. This compares to 475 Level 2 investigations and 90 Level 3 investigations closed in 2019-20

Key data

Top three issues:

  1. Billing
  2. Credit
  3. Provision

Total cases1 6,064 (down 20% 2019-20)

83% Electricity

8% Water

6% Gas

Total complaints2 4,698 (down 22% 2019-20)

Case1 any contact a customer has with EWOQ, including general enquiry, refer back to supplier, referral to higher level, investigation, or referral to another organisation.

Complaints2 these are cases that are billed to a scheme participant i.e. refer back to supplier, referral to higher level and investigations.

Closed complaints by primary issue

Primary issue2016-172017-182018-192019-202020-21
Customer service502735639536454
Total complaints6,0207,9316,5085,9874,698

Top four closed complaints for 2020-21

  • Billing 58%
  • Credit 11%
  • Provision 10%
  • Customer service 10%

View more complaints data

See Appendix 1

See the official copy of the 2020-21 annual report, as tabled in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland, on the Queensland Parliament's tabled papers website.