Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Origin Energy

To continue my tilting at windmills...

I signed up online, unfortunately selecting the wrong option regarding my gas supply. After cold showers since the 26th of Feb, I got frustrated that I had no gas, and no one contacted me.


Hey guys,
I was just wondering about the status of this connection - as far as I can tell, the gas supply is disconnected at the meter, and I haven't gotten any of the welcome pack stuff, etc etc.

3 days later...

Hi,
The form you have completed is for customers who already have an established account at their property and not moving in, who would like to switch their account to Origin.



If you are moving into the property and require assistance...
- Requested date must be 3 full business days in the future
- Must accept Terms and Conditions as displayed in online webform
- Personal details including Full name, DOB, Driver licence and phone

If you meet the above requirements and would like to move in online please use www.originenergy.com.au/movers



If you do not meet the above requirements, the form does not suit your needs or you need to contact us.

You can call on 13 24 61 (Option 1 for residential) Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 6:30pm.


Gee, great. Well; if you want to treat me like a piece of meat; I'll get terse.


Hey guys,
I've been in an agreement with your company since Feb 26th to supply gas to the premises; and it's taken you this long to communicate with me that you cannot meet your obligations (provide gas supply) under the agreement signed?

I understand I may have filled out the the incorrect form at the first instance; however the gas supply was previously there, and disconnected. The wording "Switch to Origin" implied that you would make efforts to contact the previous supplier (who is currently non-stop ignoring every letter I return to sender with their old account holder's name on it); and I presumed noticing there was no connection would be a relatively simple step in that process.

Please either make the necessary changes to have this account connected via your connections department, or notify me that this isn't possible - I'll find another provider.

In the later case, I would seek confirmation that no charges will apply - mainly you've only just told me long after the cooling off period, and haven't received any gas supply from yourselves.

-Dan


and bugger me, did I get an essay:



Thank you for your response.



You made no reference to the fact that the service was disconnected or that you were moving in to the property in your application.

As you were not an existing customer we did not know you were moving and we were not billing the property so had no idea that the service was disconnected.

We take it on good faith that you have understood the application process and completed the correct form.



A request was placed for you on 01/03/10 as a “switch” this order would have eventually rejected for two reasons and you would have been contacted.

The current retailer would object to the transfer because your name does not match that of their current customer and there would outstanding debt, hence the disconnection.

This would not occur untill the next scheduled reading as outlined below.



In the situation where a customer has had the service terminated it can only be re-activated by the retailer that authorised it.

This rule applies as an inbult protection for retailers. It stops customers incurring a large debt with one retailer, then switching to a new retailer and so on.

It also takes up to 3 months to switch, then a further 5 days to reconnect leaving the customer without gas for this time.

Because of the above Origin made a business decision not to raise a “switch” or a “move in” where a customer advises us the service is disconnected.

Our switching forms do not include this informtation as it is not relevent to someone who already has an active account.



We have tried to make the forms as clear as possible to avoid this sort of error.

In the “switch” application, it asks you to have your most recent bill for that property available and also asks for information from those bills.

It does not ask you to enter a start date for your request, instead advising that your billing should commence from the next scheduled reading when the transfer completes.

The terms and conditions do state that your agreement does not commence with us untill the service transfers to Origin Energy.



The sign up forms (shown below) do differentiate between a customer moving into a property or an existing customer switching retailer.

http://www.originenergy.com.au/2070/Sign-up-online

You are welcome to look over these and provide any feedback you think is relevant.



I cannot comment on why the current retailer would be ignoring your returned mail, though I do not understand why you have not contacted either them or us sooner if you have been without gas.

You will need to contact the current retailer in order to set up an account. They may require you have a copy of a lease agreement or contact of sale as they will need to separate you from the previous occupant.

Should you in future wish to be with Origin Energy you can re-complete the form with the details of the account you set up.



I hope this clears thing up for you, it is an unfortunate situation but easy to resolve.


+ 3 points for retaining a bit of composure and politeness; as well as being factual.
-50 points for taking 19 days to resolve this situation; having to rely on me the customer to initiate resolution; and coming up with a resolution of "Do over".

Way to win friends and influence people.

Am I being a difficult arsehole? Sure. Would a single, pro-active email from them have avoided all of this? Yes. Is 19 days an acceptable turnaround for customer service? I don't believe so.

Now; how do I reach out and inflict 19 days of cold showers upon everyone involved?
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