Despite having not received a gas bill after living in this house for over 5 months (thanks AGL – I do have two different gas account numbers though?!), the electric people (Energy Australia) went the other way and had demanded a $200 deposit which would be ‘refunded after four bill payments’, or ‘after a direct debit had been set up’.
I filled in the form for them to set up a direct debit. Imagine my suprise when they used the direct debit details to take the $200 deposit… Hold on, I thought the point of me setting up the direct debit was so you didn’t take the deposit?! WHATEVER – you can screw us Pommies over I don’t care – us Pommies lost the will to take on utility companies YEARS ago, we’re used to terrible service and confusing billing – so I let it lie.
Next thing you know (well, actually 5 months later..) I get a bill for the ‘1st quarter’ – this consisted of precisely 8 days of electricity usage – obviously I moved in at time inconvenient to their quarterly billing cycle. The bill informed that they would take the money by direct debit.
OK, ENOUGH – I HAVE set up a direct debit – you’ve got my $200 – just give it back, and we’ll get on with life.. A phone call revealed that ‘I don’t know why that’s really happened..’ and ‘the money won’t be debited because you already have $200 credit’. I asked why it didn’t say that on the bill, response = ‘I don’t really know’.
Long story short – no return of my $200 deposit, but rather the amount of each bill I get will be taken off the $200 until I reach zero – NOWHERE will this appear on any of my bills – they will still say that they will be collecting the money automatically by direct debit – WHAT A FANTASTIC SYSTEM – I reckon it’s only a matter of time before the Pommie utility companies catch on to this great idea.