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.

Read more customer stories or learn more about meter reading and backbills.