Customers transferred on a past date or estimated read

Many customers tell us they were not told they would be transferred at a past date or on an estimated meter read. Some customers advise that the retailer told them the information was in the terms and conditions of the contract but gave no information upfront that this was the case.

Case study A customer arranged for his electricity account to be transferred to his preferred retailer on 14 June 2022, however he then received a bill starting from 5 April 2022. He contacted the retailer to dispute this, as he did not receive any correspondence or information when he accepted the contract that the transfer would be from a date in the past. The retailer advised that it had transferred the account correctly and that the bill was payable.

The customer disputed the bill and requested a refund from the retailer as he had continued to pay monthly instalments of $80 and a three monthly bill based on a meter reading to his old retailer. He was advised to contact the previous retailer to request a refund, however the customer told EWON that his previous retailer had since gone into administration and had advised him it would take up to a year to obtain any refund, and this may not be the full amount.

The retailer offered to apply a customer service gesture of $200 to the customer’s account, which covered the money that he had paid to the previous retailer. While the customer was satisfied with the outcome, many other customers may have been similarly impacted without redress.