Read case studies of customers we've helped in resolving issues with high bills. Personal details have been changed to protect our customer's privacy.
If you need help paying a bill, contact your provider in the first instance. If you're not happy with their response, contact us.
High bill for electric car user
Mr Abbasi purchased an electric car and signed up for his energy provider’s $1 per day electric car plan. He then received what he thought was a high bill, given his normal usage patterns. The bill also showed he was on a different plan.
His provider advised him he would need to install a new meter before the plan could be put in place. The new meter was installed and Mr Abbasi was advised that he would receive a credit for the difference between the car plan tariff and the amount he had been charged.
When this did not occur, he called his provider three times in two weeks and was told that someone from the electric car team would call him about his issue. When again he did not hear back, he contacted us.
Outcome: the provider applied a credit of $800 to Mr Abbasi’s account, and confirmed he was now on the correct energy plan. The cost of installing the new meter was not charged to him.
This was the first complaint to EWON involving an electric car.
High estimated bill on vacant property
John received an estimated electricity bill for $1,920 even though the supply address was vacant for most of the period.
He had requested an actual read five times and the retailer had agreed to reissue the bill, but that had not happened, and he then received a disconnection notice. John had a digital meter, which means it could be remotely read.
Outcome: We contacted the retailer and requested a hold on the disconnection. The retailer responded that the bill was for only one month and it could not identify why it was such a high estimate. It noted that John had told it that the property was vacant and so agreed to cancel all estimated billing on the account. It then applied a billing adjustment and issued a final bill for $80. John paid this bill and was happy with the outcome.
High airconditioning bill for embedded network customer
Zhang Wei contacted us with a complaint about a high air conditioning bill. He had recently moved out of an apartment within a residential complex, that was an embedded network.
Zhang had received a bill for $1,753.76 for air conditioning services covering an 8 month period. He had contacted the embedded network retailer and was told that the bill was based on actual meter data. He did not belive he had used over $200 a month in air conditioning.
We contacted the retailer to get more information about the billing. It advised that the bill related to centralised services, including air conditioning and potable hot water heating services. It confirmed that these services were both metered.
After conducting a review of the account, it identified that Zhang Wei was overcharged for air conditioning services by 192kWh, or approximately $40.
Outcome: the retailer offered to credit Zhang Wei’s account with $50 to resolve the complaint, which we accepted.
Read more about how we help embedded network customers or download our Living in an embedded network factsheet (PDF 500KB).
Estimated meter reads leads to complaint
Darren lives in a community housing unit and since 2013 was provided with estimated meter readings for his gas usage. He felt that his bills were overestimated, so provided a self-read to the retailer, however his bills were not adjusted.
Darren was asked to provide a photo of the meter reading but he did not have phone with a camera, and could not send emails, which he felt was a disadvantage.
We contacted the retailer and established that, based on the Darren’s selfread, the hot water meter was not registering consumption and needed to be replaced. The retailer adjusted Darren’s estimated hot water usage to reflect a reasonable level. It also rebilled the account for the period 8 April 2018 to 6 April 2020 resulting in a credit balance of $478.28. It then applied a credit of $287.45 to the account for the period 24 September 2014 to 7 July 2017, which was the difference between the billed and adjusted data.
The retailer also offered a customer service gesture of $150 which resulted in a credit balance of $940.73. Darren acknowledged that his meter needed to be replaced and this would occur once COVID-19 restrictions on entering properties is lifted.
Customer receives a nine month back bill
Amy lives in a rental property and established a gas account there in 2017. She received estimated bills from February 2017 until July 2019, because the meter had not been read. She contacted her retailer in July 2019 and was advised that the previous bills were underestimated and a back bill was issued to recover charges for nine months based on the meter read provided by the distributor. She considered the back bill to be incorrect and unreasonable.
We contacted the retailer and it advised that Amy was receiving estimated bills from the start of the account, however an actual read was obtained on 2 July 2019 and a catchup bill was issued. A further read was obtained on 30 December 2019, which showed usage was higher that the estimated consumption between 23 February to 2017 to 2 July 2019.
The retailer offered to reduce the bill by $300, however this was declined by Amy. We contacted the distributor, which noted that Amy’s hot water consumption was high, which could have been due to a faulty meter. As part of our investigation we also noted that the retailer had billed the most recent bill on a higher reading than the reading done by the distributor.
The distributor agreed to adjust the gas usage based on historical data, which reduced the account balance from $1,597.51 to $165.19. They committed to install a new meter once COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and will conduct an extra billing review once that is done.