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
Here are the facts, and their method of creation:
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:
Finally, you can submit this to the ACCC scam watch website here: