Queenlanders struggling to pay energy bills
According to the Energy Ombudsman Queensland (EOC), consumer complaints have nearly doubled in the past year. The EOQ dealt with over 13,000 complaints regarding Queenslanders energy suppliers in the last financial year 2008-09, with complaints surrounding account issues making up nearly 70% of the total complaints dealt with.
Consumers are concerned about the accuracy of bills, delays in receiving bill, and sometimes not even receiving their energy bills at all. This results in both residential customers and small businesses receiving significantly higher bills only once or twice a year, making them practically unaffordable.
Make It Cheaper says: "If you're a small business or residential customer struggling to pay your bills, speak to your supplier, and agree a payment plan that will stagger your payments over a period of time, rather than having to fork out one large lump sum."
Since deregulation in 2007 electricity and gas prices in Queensland have risen by 40%, coupling this with poor service, customers will start to wonder whether deregulation of the energy market is going to bring any benefits. The Queensland governments opposition are making this point strongly to the current government - the likely response will simply be that price increases were going to happen anyway, but suppliers need to shape up and start delivering the sort of service that customers deserve.
The EOQ have highlighted that consumers are finding their energy bills increasingly hard to understand, with complicated terms and conditions and inaccurate billing information - this inevitably makes choosing a new supplier with cheaper rates and improved service very difficult for energy customers.
It's critical that small business customers use a service like Make It Cheaper to help them understand their bill and find a better deal in the market place - and for the residential customer, there are plenty of independent comparison services to choose from who will help find them a cheaper supplier.