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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Payment difficulties case studies

Further information:

Delayed rebate application causes unnecessary worry

A customer contacted her electricity retailer because she had difficulty paying her bill due to financial hardship. The retailer offered to send her a Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme (HEEAS) application so she could apply for a rebate.

After 2 weeks, she hadn’t received the application and called her retailer again. Initially they refused to resend the form because her account had been closed a month before, but then agreed to resend it.

After 3 more weeks, the customer still hadn’t received the application. She contacted us in stress when they told her she owed $848.39 immediately. We investigated the retailer to find out what had happened.

We asked the retailer to review their internal processes to see if an issue on their end had caused the delay with the application.

They did this and, as a result, agreed to waive the whole $848.39 owing. The customer appreciated this outcome, and said it far outweighed her expectations.

Application of Qld Governement Concession dispute

The customer experienced delayed and incorrect billing with his retailer and sought assistance from EWOQ. The customer had recently had his meter upgraded due to a solar installation and shortly after the installation became eligible for the Queensland Government Concession. The customer provided his pension concession details to his retailer who issued subsequent invoices without the application of the concession. The customer advised that the retailer eventually issued their invoices after many complaints however, they remained incorrect due to the non-application of the government concession. 

EWOQ investigated the cause of delays to the customer’s billing and the reason why the customer’s concession had been omitted from his invoices. The investigation found that the delayed billing was due to incorrect Network Tariff Codes configured on the customer’s new meters. On further discussions with the Meter Provider, the retailer was advised this issue would be rectified on the individual meter registers and would not impact the customer’s billed consumption.

With regards to the customer’s government concession, the retailer admitted their error in failing to apply the concession from the date the information was originally supplied by the customer. The retailer offered the customer a good will gesture of $200 credit for the delays experienced and a further credit of $30.56 which was equal to the amount the customer would have been entitled to had the concession been applied from the date the customer provided the details. The customer was issued invoices reflecting the correct meters and concession rebate.

The customer was relieved his complaint was able to be resolved as a result of EWOQ’s involvement.

Pensioner receives rebate

The customer was very distraught when he rang EWOQ to advise he was due to be disconnected for non-payment of his account. He advised he had paid at the bank but was convinced the teller had "pocketed his money". EWOQ contacted the energy supplier to hold disconnection action to allow the customer time to raise the issue of the missing money with the bank and to gather proof of payment. The customer was advised by EWOQ if he could not obtain proof of payment that it could negotiate a payment plan with the energy supplier.

As a gesture of goodwill EWOQ contacted the bank on behalf of the customer but no proof of payment could be found. After contacting the customer it was determined he was a single parent with a young baby who had recently lost his wife. During discussions with the customer about payment options it was determined he was not receiving a pensioner rebate. The energy supplier agreed to give the customer a pensioner rebate and to backdate it to when he had commenced the pension resulting in only a fraction of the amount outstanding.