Electricity billing errors a massive switch-off for customers | Herald Sun

Gillian Joyce with the $5482 bill. Picture: Mike Keating Herald Sun

SHOCKED electricity customers are being overcharged as much as 1400 per cent due to billing blunders.

Chirnside Park woman Gillian Joyce demanded an investigation after receiving an AGL account for $5482.03 – at least 14 times higher than her typical quarterly bill.

The bungle, blamed on a mistaken meter reading, happened after a smart meter was installed at her new solar-powered home.

Have you fallen victim to a billing blunder? Share your story below

Ms Joyce said that as a single household, it was impossible for her to use so much energy.

“When I opened it I very nearly had a stroke,” Ms Joyce said.

“I didn’t sleep that night and really felt quite ill. A bill of this size would kill me as I have just gone into a mortgage.”

Energy and Water Ombudsman figures released to the Herald Sun show the watchdog has been bombarded with more than 76,000 electricity billing complaints and inquiries in the past five years. These include 11,000 alleged billing errors.

Ms Joyce, a bank worker with an eye for numbers, queried the charge last Wednesday.

She got an apology and confirmation of an error yesterday after the Herald Sun intervened.

An AGL spokeswoman said the bill would be cancelled and the entire amount waived as a goodwill gesture. A network company’s incorrect reading during a meter changeover appeared to be the cause.

Ms Joyce said power companies needed to better monitor their billing processes.

“That charge was clearly ludicrous,” she said. “I don’t live in a McMansion … I don’t even have electric hot water.”

The AGL spokeswoman said customer service issues were taken seriously and “we have been focused on making improvements”.

Complaints against AGL lodged with the industry ombudsman were down last financial year while gripes against other retailers rose, she said.


via Electricity billing errors a massive switch-off for customers | Herald Sun.

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4 Responses to Electricity billing errors a massive switch-off for customers | Herald Sun

  1. roshan says:

    I was with Australian Power and Gas, which merged with AGL and after merger I got 2 bill, 1 day apart, second bill has 300 extra on top of first bill. I had spoken to 2 resolution specialist who say there was overlap period where I was charged and they were trying to get data from Australian Power and gas so they couldn’t resolve the issue immediately. But third resolution specialist is saying, both bills are correct and I have to pay immediately on the spot. He is claiming that 2nd bill is revised bill so I have to pay full amount on both bill. I am still not happy with his explanation. Both bill has similar perid Jan – apil.

    I have to go and look at meter now and ring back again and speak to different resolution specialist.

    • Eric says:

      Roshan, do not be afraid to raise a case against them if this “incompetence” continues. Give them the grief they deserve. I did this to the ANZ Bank and used their own television marketing against them. I reminded them of their marketing campaign using the “Barbara from Bankworld” character and turned it against them very effectively by accusing their own personnel to be living in “Bankworld” and having no idea. I’m not surprised that particular marketing campaign came to an end.

  2. Daniel says:

    i just received my bill which is close to 3 times of my previously bill. nothing changed in my house too. This after smart meter installation. What crap is happening with these smart meters?

  3. Minerva says:

    Just heard about a lady who received an electrical bill for $ 900.– Everything in her home was energy conscious. ,yet her bill doubled or tripled. It makes me wonder, I’m still on the old billing whats next for me? All appliances in my home are more than 90% efficiency . Gas heather, front loaders even my freezer is now well over 90 % efficiency. I don’t think it is a good thing to have equal payment billing, it gives Hydro the opportunity to increase the billing while you are powerless to debate it. So get off it and write down your monthly consumption. Then you have a debate. 1.8 million people are now against the smart meter in British Columbia. Does it not make you wonder? Corporation, Monopoly and I refuse to mention the next one.

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