Another emerging issue is for gas customers receiving notification of price increases and transferring to a new retailer. While this is not directly caused by two-day switching it highlights the issues of the economic environment and the inequity caused by not applying the same rules to the gas market (even though it is not specifically excluded in the rules).

Two-day switching does not apply to gas transfers; however the rules do not preclude it as transfers are possible on estimated meter readings.

EWON has received multiple complaints relating to customers who, after receiving a notification of a price increase of their gas rates, arranged to transfer to a new retailer. However they then have to wait up to three months, resulting in being billed significantly higher rates.

Case study On 18 May 2022, a customer arranged for her electricity and gas account to be transferred to a new retailer after she received price increase notifications from her current retailer. Her electricity account transferred straight away, however the gas did not.

She contacted the new retailer to find out why and was advised that it had raised a request for a meter reading to be obtained and that the transfer was still pending. She contacted the gas distributor and was told it had not received any request.

The customer contacted EWON for further assistance in August 2022 as the transfer had still not occurred and she was concerned about the next gas bill as the rates with her current retailer were increasing substantially and it had recommended that she transfer to a new retailer.

When we contacted the retailer to ask for more information, it said that in June 2022 it had raised a service order to transfer the gas account on the next scheduled meter read date. The transfer occurred on 2 August 2022.

The customer’s new retailer advised that it had followed the correct process, however the customer was not satisfied with being financially disadvantaged by the delay and the increased bill from her previous retailer. The gas bill was over $200 more than if she had been billed at the rates of her new retailer. In the interests of resolving the complaint, the retailer offered to apply a credit of $200 to the customer’s account, which she accepted. The customer was satisfied with this outcome.