We try to deal with complaints in a way that is fair, reasonable and timely. Where possible, we give the energy or water provider an opportunity to resolve the matter directly with you.
Each complaint is assessed individually, but in general:
- if you haven’t contacted your provider about the problem, we normally put you in touch with them
- we may refer your complaint to the provider's specialist dispute resolution team. This is known as "refer to a higher level" (RHL), and may lead to a quicker resolution.
- if you haven't been able to resolve the complaint with your provider, we will allocate a Dispute Resolution Officer to your case
- where an investigation is undertaken, we try to complete it as quickly as possible and will keep you informed about progress
- if we can't help because it's out of our jurisdiction, we'll try to find an organisation that can.
How long will it take?
If we refer your complaint to the provider’s specialist dispute resolution team, they will contact you within five business days to advise you of the steps they will take to try to resolve the matter.
If we investigate your complaint we will do so as quickly as possible. If your matter is complex, it may take some time to investigate. If we have received a high number of complaints there might be a delay in allocating your matter for investigation and we apologise for this.
Our investigations process
- we seek information from the provider (e.g. account records or claim files)
- we may seek further information from you (e.g. copies of bills, letters or receipts)
- where appropriate, we get independent expert advice (e.g. from an engineer or loss assessor)
- we will continue to investigate for as long as there are grounds to support further investigation, or until the matter is resolved.
Making a payment on your account
It is important that you:
- pay any outstanding amount you owe the provider that is not the subject of your complaint
- pay new bills issued during our investigation.
Please let us know if you're not able to pay your account. We can help. It is important that you monitor your account, bills and any correspondence you receive during our investigation and let us know if there’s anything you’re concerned about.
If you’re not experiencing serious affordability issues and appear to be using our investigation to avoid payment, we may close the investigation.
No direct contact between the parties
Where we have notified you and the provider of our investigation, all communication about the case should be through us, unless otherwise agreed. This reduces the possibility of miscommunication or misunderstanding between both parties and increases the chances of a resolution.
Direct communication between you and your provider can continue about any matter not being investigated by us.
If you're not happy with the resolution
If you are not satisfied with the progress of your case, please ask to speak to one of our Dispute Resolution Managers.
If you are not satisfied with the result of an investigation, you can ask us to consider a review of our decision. We will undertake a review of an investigation based on one or more of the following criteria:
- bias or lack of impartiality by us
- provision of additional, relevant information not available during the investigation that would change the investigation outcome
- an error or omission by us, including where we have relied on incorrect information or have not adhered with our case handling policies in reaching our decision.
A request for us to review must be made in writing and state the reason for review, as outlined above. It must:
- include supporting information
- be received by us within 28 days of the date of case closure letter or Final Investigation Report.
In special circumstances a verbal request will be considered.