8 March 2006

ActewAGL incompetence

| deece
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13 months, 8 phone calls, 3 disconnections, 3 customer reference numbers and hours of time on hold later…

and they still haven’t managed to send us an accurate gas bill. do i have to keep calling them until they get it right? Surely they should be chasing me up, yet i am the one who needs the gas. What does an ordinary ACT resident do in a situation like this?

Should i pay the full 13 months (if they actually manage to get an accurate bill out to me, with my name on it…). do i go to my local member? the press? the essential services council? who?!

How does a utilities company manage to be so incompetent?!

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I bundled a new gas connection with all my other accounts and have been waiting over 12 months for the “free connection” to be reimbursed.

I am now investigating a change to bottle gas…

For reasons that are probably best known only to ActewAGL, Gas is still very much separate from all other parts of the company.

I didn’t have the bad luck of constant disconnections, but I had similar problems with incorrect billing and receiving old bills even after moving. I still am not sure if gas is considered part of my ActewAGL ‘bundle’!

several years ago i moved from a townhouse and arranged to stop one bill and start another at my new place.

agl continued to send me the gas bill for the old place. theyd send the bill, i’d ring them and say its gone to the wrong address and i dont live there. each time thy said they would fix it. the bills became bigger and bigger, and they would send threatening letters. each time, i would call them – but it didnt do any good. i wondered to myself – do they ever cut the gas off ? finally i drove over to my old place and knocked on the door and tried to explain it to the new person. she had never received a bill and didnt even know that the place had gas (i asked her what she thought ran the heating that kept her warm over winter…). the exact amount is one of those details lost in the mist of time and memory but it was substantial, over a thousand as i recall. she must have been running that damn heating 24 x 7.

i didnt receive a bill for that address again fortunately.

i wonder if there was a happy ending ?

Just don’t bother trying to use the online form to apply for an electricity account – apparently it just goes straight into the round file and no-one ever sees it, so you have to call up anyway…

If you have any sort of reference number from Actew try paying some money into their account quoting that number (I think it’s an 8 digit number) and ensure you have a receipt, do that every month so when the bill does come you can point out you’ve been paying – not your fault if they didn’t collect earlier and if the bill is more or less than the sum deposited you either carry it forward or make up the difference

If I were king, option 3.

Tell them you’re not paying until they sort it out. There will be either one of 3 results:

1. They’ll cut the gas (then you call a lawyer, and prove that you did everything in your power to sort the issue out, and the onus of fault is theirs)
2. They’ll sort out the billing system (and maybe give you a discount or a bit of free gas if you’re lucky)
3. Your house will explode in a ball of flame, as an example to the neighbourhood to not fuck with Mr ACTEW.

You know, you can choose a different retailer for your utilities…

Call the ombudsman. When I have, the situation was “sorted” after 1-2 phone calls.

I’ve heard ppl say the Ombudsman is always a good option.
I’m not talking from experience so I could be wrong but according to one friend organisations kinda freak when they get a call from the Ombudsman and get their arse into gear.

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