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Energy Supplier Scam? Tricks on the bill.

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by robsalvv, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. ...a little while ago I changed my energy supplier to a less expensive crowd. The tariff is X cents for first 1000kwh/quarter and then y cents for the balance above that.

    I got the bill and noticed that in the change over I hadn't used a 1000kwh but they had prorated the power usage across both rates.

    They tell me that what they do is say that since you have 1000kwh per quarter, you actually have 11kwh per day at the lower rate and the rest is charged at the higher rate.

    Hello?! I says, I haven't used up a 1000 kwh yet... it should all be at the lower rate.

    The customer service rep can't point out in the contract where they're allowed to do that and has referred it to their retail people.

    Ok, so in a normal 91 day quarter where you do use over a 1000kwh, it wont make any difference that they split the bill out that way... but in this case, it's a way to creep back some extra cash.

    I'll let you know what happens.
  2. Presumably something the Energywatch people failed to mention.

    I figure all energy companies are going to screw you one way or another, so I prefer the ones that are at least open about it by charging more upfront.
  3. Love to hear what happens here. We in Vic are being screwed over royally by the energy companies, with the full assent of both sides of politics.
  4. Interestingly EnergyWatch AND the retailer Energy Australia (coz I approached them direct to test EnergyWatch's recommendation) both said the same thing, first 1000kwh at rate A, the balance at rate B. No one said anything about prorated calculations.
  5. Hmm, I've only just switched companies and am still waiting on the first bill.

    When it does arrive think I'll be going over it very carefully to make sure they're not also doing things that weren't disclosed when I signed up.

    Though my main reason for switching wasn't to save money, but simply because I grew sick of useless AGL not sending me bills then sending angry letters for not paying them (and I switched from Origin many years back after they stuffed up and accidently cancelled my account, then tried to charge me a reconnection fee). Power companies need to learn to spend less money on annoying TV ads and more on providing a decent service.
  6. How do they know your daily useage? Do they read the meter every day?
  7. I'm not surprised. In November last year Origin offered us a tarriff with an increased buyback rate for the PV solar. Not exactly altruistic as the govt mandated it. It has taken over a year to get the tarriff actually changed to the higher rate. When it's finally sorted I will be putting in a claim for a year's lost income to the thieving scumbags
  8. He prob has a digital meter.

    How much did you actually use, Rob, and how long was the initial period?

    EDIT: I just realised how condescending that post sounded, no offence intended. I've just worked for bigpond for a year and now I'm in telstra retail and I've seen too many knobs that can't make head nor tails of pro rata. But I'm def not lumping you in with them.

    EDIT2: I SEE THE LIGHT NOW, they're prorating when they never said they would. Standard industry practice and usually not mentioned in Ts&Cs, Rob. They'll say something to the effect of "but yes if you continued to use it as such for x period then it would all work out". Kick enough of a stink up and they'll get rid of it. I'll go back into my corner now.
  9. They're NOT measuring the power every day.

    The first billing period was for 36 days - so wasn't for a quarter. They say that over a typical 91 day quarter, the first 1000kwh would work out to be 11kwh per day... so they've decided that only 11kwh x 36days would be calculated at the lower rate and the balance at the higher rate.

    No where does it say in any fine print that this is how the charges would be calculated. It says categorically that the first 1000kwh in a quarter will be charged at the lower rate. I haven't used a 1000kwh.
  10. It looks like this is a one off situation in the quarter that you have changed over Rob. I'm not surprised that how they calculate the initial bill isn't in the T&Cs. What they have done doesn't actually sound that bad. If they didn't do some pro-rating, they would be missing out a few dollars for each new client. As it is, you may be paying a few dollars more on your first bill. Have you worked out how much more it has cost you? (I know, it is the principle, not the absolute cost.)

    No doubt your second bill onwards will be calculated correctly.

    Azamakumar, the Bigpond pro-rata system is easy to understand, but the billing system makes it almost impossible to follow what has been done. I recently changed from an old to a new plan within a month. Both plans cost the same amount and all discounts still applied, so the monthly total charge should have been identical. With multiple credits and a pro-rata charge it worked out I was paying a few dollars more on the first bill. Worse, one of the credits was in the "Adjustment" section of the bill, and not shown in the Bigpond section of my Single Bill. I missed the adjustment on first reading the bill, and rang Billing for an explanation. The CSR failed to direct me to the adjustment section of the bill, despite having it up on her screen, so it was a very frustrating phone call.

    That is why Bigpond have so much trouble with customers over their pro-rating.