Sam... Obviously I was with AGL, so I thought alright I’m with AGL so I ring up AGL… oh, you’re no longer our customer… so who am I with then?
“I wouldn't say Simply Energy… simply bullshit!” says Nick.
“I am confused! What do I do? What do I bloody well do?” asks Sam.
Confused?... Well that's an understatement, trying to digest the mess created by the ironically named Simply Energy for Sam Liddy who lives at number 2.
“It just seems like a big balls up,” says Sam.
…And Nick and Brittany two doors down at number 2a…
When did you get an inkling something was wrong?
“A neighbour passed on a letter that was addressed to a house down the street but in my name, and it was a letter from a lawyer saying we owed money,” says Brittany.
Except they had been paying their gas and power bills on time since moving into their new home last year.
“I was always assured it was a mistake… I said a mistake wasn't good enough… I wanted to know why this happened, how it happened… it’s been 3 months I've been paying my bills, why is this happening?” asks Brittany.
Sam meanwhile had been away for months on an extended overseas honeymoon... only to discover on his return that he was no longer an AGL customer.
“And I always thought I would be an AGL customer, great company, but Simply Energy come in here and do their cowboy show and they just take it over,” says Sam.
But it took Nick and Brittany to work out how Simply Energy botched it up, starting with getting their street number wrong.
“Back in November when we signed up with Simply Energy, Simply Energy have gone to his house, disconnected his electricity from the previous provider and then connected themselves to his house… So from then until now he hasn't been paying a bill because they've been sending it to us,” says Nick.
It took them three months to get Simply Energy to see what they had done... But add insult to injury, six months after that they were disconnected from SA Power Networks because their meter had not been linked to a retailer or been read.
“If this is happening to us and it’s been this hard to resolve the issue I think really, I think about my grandparents in this situation, how would they cope or for people who don’t speak English, for the hours that I’ve spent on the phone,” says Brittany.
Yet good neighbour Sam was still in the dark...
“How would you explain the customer service… I've been promised so many things over the last 3 weeks from Simply Energy and what am I getting? Between all four of us we have no bloody idea what to do, that's why came to see you Frank. I want to go back and be an AGL customer, I’m sorry mate that’s my company, they’re the people that issue me with my bill in my name.
“We are using this service to let you know that we have not yet received a payment”.
Well Sam might reconsider if he gets threatening calls like this...
“Failure to do so may result in disconnection of your service, further charges including legal costs and possible default listing”.
AGL's heavy handed tactic to cold call customers whose bills were two days overdue has been roundly attacked... the company has since stopped them... As for Simply Energy and Brittany and Nick…
“They've agreed to refund our money onto our account pending refunding to us in cash if we now owe another provider… bearing in mind that money that we’ll owe another provider will be at higher rate and they are willing to compensate the difference,” says Brittany.
However Simply Energy has now cut a deal with AGL to get their money off Sam... even though legally he was never a Simply Energy customer.
“To be honest… they’re shocking,” says Sam.
“I received my first phone call from them just days ago, like my first ever call from them to try to resolve the issue… not once have they ever phoned me or returned a phone call I asked to be returned,” says Brittany.
We couldn't get them to return our calls either. Nick and Brittany haven't received an apology and say they'll take Simply Energy's corporate advice and make the switch... To another company.
Just outrageous isn't it? They cut you off, send you demanding letters from a debt collector, admit they’re wrong and they won’t give you an apology… who wants to do business with a company like that?
“Yeah,” agrees Nick.