AGL penalised for wrongfully disconnecting customer
A Victorian customer had their electricity disconnected after AGL failed to recognise a state government grant credit.
AGL has paid almost $74,000 in penalties for wrongfully disconnecting a customer over a supposed unpaid electricity bill.
The Essential Services Commission found the energy provider should have applied a $636.64 credit to the customer's account after a Victorian government grant was approved.
However, the energy provider failed to do so and instead cut off the resident's electricity.
AGL restored the connection the same day the customer alerted it to the mistake.
The commission also found AGL disconnected the customer despite their arrears being below the $300 minimum threshold.
In Victoria, those who are receiving payment assistance or are less than $300 in arrears are protected from being disconnected for not paying their bills.
AGL also failed to report the wrongful disconnection to the commission within the prescribed time frame.
The energy provider was made to pay $73,968 in penalties.
Commissioner Kate Symons said disconnections over non-payments should always be a last resort for customers experiencing bill stress.
"Retailers must have robust systems that reliably provide customers with payment assistance," she said.