Energy Accounts and Billing

Help with your AGL Energy account or AGL online tools.

Help with your AGL Energy account or AGL online tools.

Unexpected bill addressed to "Energy Consumer" in mail (not e-mail)

Conductor

TLDR: Having discussed this at length with AGL directly, the truth of the letters addressed to “Energy Consumer” is that they are in fact bills issued by AGL, however they are not legitimate contracts and cannot be enforced in any way – if you have one, don’t pay it, if you have paid one, get your money back.

 

Image borrowed from this thread: https://neighbourhood.agl.com.au/t5/Energy-Accounts-and-Billing/Fake-AGL-Bill/td-p/21142

HelloThere_0-1619857461995.jpeg

 

Here are the facts, and their method of creation:

 

  1. AGL was the energy supplier for a specific property for a particular customer.
  2. That customer contacted AGL, cancelled their service, and left the property.
  3. The property is now potentially vacant (the case for rental properties or sale properties), and no one immediately after this time has requested a new connection.
  4. AGL takes it upon themselves to continue an active energy connection. This is not done by all energy companies and is certainly not mandated by any governing bodies – this is AGL’s decision to continue an active connection. AGL then bills the property monthly, sending bills via mail, and rolling over any unpaid bills into each new monthly bill. There are no ‘final reminder’ or ‘urgent payment due’ notices, it simply accrues month to month.
  5. Sometime later, the property will no longer be vacant, and the new tenant/owner will connect to a new energy supplier (not necessarily AGL). At this point, AGL sends their final bill up to that date, which includes all monthly connection fees, and any usage fees if they exist.
  6. During this interstitial time, nobody has requested an active electricity connection, there is no contract, and AGL are unable to link a bill to a name or phone number or email address, hence “Energy Consumer” billed to a property address, and not a person.

 

To be clear, this is not a 3rd party scam, it is AGL billing under their initiative, which feels very underhanded and scam-like. During my conversation with AGL, they tried to pass this off as ‘a service of convenience for the new tenants/owners’, and ‘not wanting to turn off electricity for someone that might need it’. Another excuse was that ‘English might not be the new tenant/owner’s primary language, they might not understand the processes to request a new service, and this way they are able to have electricity immediately’, which frankly sounds like their target audience in the sense that they are looking to bill people who may not understand or know better than to pay up immediately. These poor people end up paying hundreds of dollars for a service they (1) didn’t use and (2) didn’t sign up for.

 

Real estate agents are aware of this, and routinely ignore these notices.

 

Furthermore, AGL were unclear on just how long they apply this ‘service’, though the safe bet is indefinitely, since it accrues potential profits for them. I was told the connection could last up to 6 months, however they changed their estimate to ‘indefinite’ after I pointed out this particular property had surpassed those limits.

 

Other threads with the same issue:

https://neighbourhood.agl.com.au/t5/Energy-Accounts-and-Billing/Fake-AGL-Bill/td-p/21142

https://neighbourhood.agl.com.au/t5/Energy-Accounts-and-Billing/Fake-Gas-Bill/td-p/15414

https://neighbourhood.agl.com.au/t5/Energy-Accounts-and-Billing/Fake-Billing/td-p/3677

https://neighbourhood.agl.com.au/t5/Energy-Accounts-and-Billing/AGL-Gas-Bill-addressed-to-the-Energy...

 

Finally, you can submit this to the ACCC scam watch website here:

https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/

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