YOUR SAY: Question your bills, it saved me hundreds

I COULD never fathom why my electricity bill was so high until I made another complaint to the energy company recently and found that when Country Energy ceased business in 2013 that my age pension rebate had not been carried over to the new energy company.

When I queried why not, I was told that it was up to me to inform the new company that I was on the pension.

The girl said that my personal details were not carried over, only the business details.

I was stunned as my full name and date of birth surely are personal details. Why was it not queried when my date of birth told them I was of the age to have a pension?

Thus started a merry dance.

The energy company refused to return my rebate, totalling $632.86. They kept telling me that I was at fault as I hadn't told them.

I refused to give up and kept being passed from one executive to another.

Finally I was told the company would refund me one year's rebate (about $235).

I refused the offer and in desperation rang the NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman (EWON).

What a difference in attitude!

From the start I was treated kindly and cour-teously and the staff took over my problem.

In days I was informed that the energy company would refund the full amount of my rebate.

I am eternally grateful to them and particularly to Amanda who was kind and efficient during the whole process.

I was told that more pensioners should be aware that the Ombudsman is there to help them when they have difficulties.

It seems that some people are reluctant to ask for the Ombudsman's help, (but) I can assure you that they will assist you in any way they can.

Check on the back of your next electricity bill and make sure you are getting what you are entitled to. It should read 'NNSW Govt Low Income Household Rebate'.

KAY McGRATH,

Kyogle.



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