Ombudsman assists in keeping customer connected
A customer experiencing financial hardship received a large bill and was at risk of disconnection.
A customer received a large bill from their Retailer, which included high consumption due to a faulty appliance. The customer had a number of dependents and had recently lost their job. As a result, despite paying some installments, the customer was experiencing financial hardship and was at risk of disconnection for failing to pay fully for past consumption. To avoid disconnection, the customer was being asked to pay a lump sum, which was not within their current financial means.
Following the Energy and Water Ombudsman’s involvement the Retailer agreed to a payment plan taking into account the customer’s living expenses and capacity to pay. The retailer also agreed that, if the customer maintained the payments for a reasonable period of time, the Retailer would further assist in keeping the customer connected by partially crediting the customer’s account.