21 years of EWON: then and now
The 2018/2019 financial year was very special for EWON. We celebrated our 21st anniversary which gave us the rare opportunity to take stock of what we’ve achieved over two decades of operation.
Note that the data in this report is drawn from complaints received by EWON during the 2018/2019 financial year, unless otherwise specified. Our open complaint data varies in accordance with complaint progression and figures in this Report reflect complaint status as at 7 July 2019.
- Annual Report overview - WATCH
- The big picture
- Complaints this year
- Complaint issues
- Resolutions and outcomes
Annual Report 2018/2019 video
Highlights from 2018/2019
We received 26,215 complaints in 2018/2019, a decrease of one percent from 2017/2018.
- Billing complaints continue to be the most significant issue raised with us — present in 59% of all complaints, despite falling by three percent in 2018/2019.
- The second most significant complaint issue was customer service, including poor service, failure to respond, incorrect advice or information, and failure to consult or inform customers. Customer service issues were present in 39% of complaints but fell by 17%.
- Complaints relating to energy affordability remained relatively steady, decreasing three percent. Credit-related complaints were present in 21% of all complaints, consistent with 2017/2018.
- Complaints about digital meters increased in 2018/2019. However they fell in the final quarter 2019, due to new rules the Australian Energy Market Commission introduced establishing timeframes for retailers to install meters.
- Electricity accounted for just over 80% of complaints in 2018/2019, up from 78% in 2017/2018. Gas complaints fell as a percentage of total complaints from 19% in 2017/2018 to 16%, while water complaints remained stable at three percent of all complaints.
Complaints received by primary issue
Top three issues
How we received complaints
We open one complaint when a customer contacts us but they often experience more than one complaint issue, such as a high bill and poor customer service. Therefore the number of complaint issues is greater than the number of cases received.
Billing continued to be our biggest issue, present in 59% of all complaints. Billing issues include high or disputed accounts, estimated bills, opening and closing accounts and fees and charges.
Customer service issues fell significantly as a percentage of complaints, down 8% from 2017/2018 (from 47% to 39%). This fall was even more notable in the last quarter of 2018/2019, when complaints related to the customer service issue ‘failure to respond’ decreased by 53%.
Credit-related complaints continue to be our third biggest issue, accounting for 21% of all complaints in 2018/2019. Credit issues underpin energy affordability and financial hardship, which are a key focus of EWON.
How we categorise complaint issues
- Billing: high and disputed bills, fees and charges, responsibility for accounts
- Credit: disconnection, arrears, difficulty in payment, payment arrangement declined, debt collection
- Customer service: failure to respond, incorrect advice, poor attitude/service
- Transfer: error in billing or transfer of account due to switching retailers, contract terms, delay in transfer, site ownership
- Digital meter exchange: delay, meter not installed, incorrect advice, failure to respond/notify, billing, terms and conditions
- General: non-energy/water related, contractors
- Provision: problems with new or existing connections
- Marketing: conduct by marketers, misleading information, pressure, non-account holder signed up
- Land: impact of network assets, maintenance, environment
- Supply: quality, damage/loss, outages
Complaint closure type
Time taken to finalise complaints
No wrong door
When a customer contacts us before they speak to their energy or water provider, we provide them with advice about their rights and responsibilities and refer them back to their provider. When customers require assistance that is outside of EWON's jurisdiction, we work closely with other organisations and refer customers to them as required.