Uncertainty about contract start date and date of transfer

Customers have reported to us that the start date on their contract is different to the date of transfer. This leaves customers confused about contract benefit periods, their rates and their cooling off period.

Case study A customer arranged to transfer to a new retailer after he received a price rise notification from his current retailer. On 6 June 2022 he received a welcome pack with a start date of 23 May 2022. The customer thought because the date was in the past, he was not able to exercise his cooling off rights.

He contacted the retailer to dispute the transfer date, however it would not provide him with an answer and would not review the date of transfer. He considered that he had been financially disadvantaged as before the price rise notification, the rates with the new retailer were higher than the old retailer.

The customer contacted EWON and initially we referred the complaint to the retailer at a higher level, however the customer returned to us as he did not receive contact, as required, from his retailer. EWON explained the new rules relating to switching allowed for customers with a smart meter to be transferred up to 10 business days in the past.

 Based on additional information we obtained from the retailer, the transfer process was not explained to the customer. The customer advised us he had been financially disadvantaged by approximately $200 as the solar feed-in tariff with his previous retailer was higher and was not due to expire until August 2022 (which was when he thought that he would transfer to the new retailer).

The new retailer offered to apply a credit of $200 to the customers electricity account. The customer accepted this resolution to his complaint.