Ombudsman involvement reduces bill
A customer complained about a high catch up bill after a number of estimated meter readings.
A customer complained about a high bill and the matter was investigated by the Energy and Water Ombudsman.
The investigation confirmed that the customer had been issued with a large bill as a result of the Distributor providing the Retailer with an actual meter reading after supplying a number of estimated reads, which were lower than the actual consumption. The large ‘catch-up’ bill was for actual consumption that had not previously been charged due to the low ‘estimated’ bills, Actual meter readings are required to be undertaken by the Distributor once a year but for this customer the time between actual meter readings by the Distributor was over 18 months.
Following the Ombudsman’s involvement, the Retailer recalculated the bill to recover the undercharged consumption for only the previous 12 months and waived the undercharged consumption prior to that. In addition, the Retailer allowed the customer to pay the ‘catch-up’ bill over 12 months with all future bills to be paid by the due date.