Case study - customer transfers account to limit ongoing debt

A customer on the disability pension received higher than expected electricity bills and due to COVID-19 impacting his family income was unable to pay his bills on time. 

When he contacted his retailer, he was placed on a payment plan. He was unsure whether he was receiving rebates or if the retailer had placed him on its payment assistance program. 

To avoid further high charges, he transferred his electricity account to a retailer with cheaper rates. He was then contacted by a collection agency seeking $847. He wanted to pay the arrears, but was unable to pay the amount in full.

The retailer advised EWON that the customer had previously been on it's payment assistance program and had received the appropriate rebates, however this had been cancelled when the customer had closed his electricity account. 

The retailer established an affordable payment arrangement with the customer of $60 a fortnight towards his closed account. The retailer also advised EWON that the customer had an active gas account with them, which also had a balance owing. EWON provided the customer with referrals for EAPA and a financial counsellor.