Dealing with problems and making complaints
If you have a problem with your retailer, such as a bill issue or a problem with the service they are providing you, contact them first to try to solve the problem.
Each retailer must, by law, have their own internal complaint handling and dispute resolution processes. This includes escalating complaints to a senior officer or manager if the problem is not resolved at a call-centre level.
Before contacting the energy retailer:
- gather your important information, including your account and meter numbers, and previous bills
- have a clear idea of what you need to discuss with your retailer – keep it brief and factual
- understand your customer rights and responsibilities.
While speaking with your energy retailer:
- note down details of the call, including the date, time, name of call taker, what is discussed and any reference numbers they give you
- outline your issue and desired solution. If your problem is urgent, eg your service is soon to be disconnected, make sure you state this clearly
- once a resolution is provided, clarify what is going to be done to resolve the complaint, note down anything you may need to do, and confirm the expected time frame
- if the person in the call centre isn’t able to resolve your issue, ask to speak with a team leader or manager.
If you buy your energy from your landlord, they must provide you with information on their dispute resolution process and advise you of any dispute resolution bodies or schemes that could assist you.
Energy and Water Ombudsman SA
If you have tried to negotiate an issue with your energy retailer or SA Power Networks and a solution can’t be found, gather as much detail as possible about the issue and discussions with the retailer and then contact the Energy and Water Ombudsman SA (EWOSA) for assistance.
EWOSA is a free, independent service that investigates and resolves disputes between customers and electricity and gas retailers when you are unable to solve an issue directly.
Energy Consumers Australia is a national body that engages in consumer advocacy activities on national energy market matters of strategic importance, especially for residential and small business consumers.
The National Relay Service (NRS) assists deaf, hearing impaired or speech-impaired customers to connect with energy retailers.
The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You need to pay for the cost of the call to the NRS. Relaying the call is free.
Calls from mobile phones are usually time-charged by your mobile phone company.
English as a second language
The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) provides interpreting services for people who do not speak English. Interpreters can help you speak with your energy retailer if your English is not strong.
The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Most TIS services are free to non-English speakers.