Complaint core issues

Each complaint EWON receives has a core issue – the driver of the complaint – and may have associated issues. We now ensure that we report by core issue as well as capturing associated issues. In this quarter EWON closed 3,755 complaints and received 3,740 that, in addition to their core issue, raised just under 3,000 associated complaint issues.

For the top core issues, including the previous four quarters, click here.

Customers identified 6,696 different issues associated with the 3,740 complaints opened in the quarter. This was a decrease of 6.3% on the previous quarter when 7,148 issues were identified, and a decrease of 15.7% on the same quarter last year (7,943). 
High disputed billing complaints increased by 11.5% (to 1,565 up from 1,403). Complaints about estimated bills due to the meter not being read increased by 17.8% (to 450 up from 382). This may reflect the impact of COVID-19 restrictions lifting, as customers with manually read meters began receiving catch-up bills once distributors started physically attending properties again. Customers may have also been receiving bills that included the winter months and periods when they were at home more due to COVID-19 restrictions.
EWON anticipated that credit complaints may start to increase in the October to December 2021 quarter, with the AER’s standby Statement of Expectations (SOE) lifting on 25 October 2021. Complaints where a customer has been contacted by a debt collector have increased by 14.8%, up to 101 from 88. This is likely due to debt collection activity being permitted again after being paused due to the standby SOE, which required retailers to defer referring customers to debt collection agencies for recovery actions or credit default listing. However, payment difficulties complaints have decreased by 15.5% despite the lifting of the standby SOE, down to 218 from 258. This may indicate that retailers are still applying some of the principles of the standby SOE to assist customers in managing debts and establishing payment arrangements, even without the formal SOE in place.

For the top 10 issues, including the previous four quarters click here.