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Customer Charter

What this charter details are the rights, entitlements and obligations of Powershop and customers relating to the sale of energy and other aspects of our relationship under the National Energy Retail Law, the Victorian Energy Retail Code and other applicable laws, regulations and codes. Our rights and your rights are set out in your contract with us, as well as in the applicable law and codes. This charter does not form part of your contract with us.

1.

Your rights in detail

You can get a better feel for your rights as a retail customer by reading through your contract with us, the National Energy Retail Rules (not currently applicable to Victorian customers) and the Victorian Energy Retail Code. Your contract can be found at our website (www.powershop.com.au/terms-and-conditions/customer/).

You also have rights as a consumer under the Australian Consumer Law and various other consumer affairs and fair trading laws.

2.

Retailers and distributors

We're your retailer and that means we're responsible for selling you electricity. Another company, your distributor, owns the poles and wires outside your property that deliver electricity to your supply address. As your retailer, we liaise with your distributor to arrange for the supply of electricity to your supply address. If ever there is a fault or emergency with your electricity supply, you should contact your distributor – whose contact details can be found on your bill or on our website (www.powershop.com.au/contact-us/).

3.

Connecting and cooling off

You won't experience any interruption of supply as a result of your transfer to Powershop. We'll make the necessary arrangements - including contacting your existing retailer if you're transferring from someone else, and contacting your distributor and other market participants as soon as possible after our contract is in place.

In most cases you have ten business days to cool off after entering a contract with a retailer. This means that within that period you have a right to terminate the contract without penalty. Your cooling off rights stem from the National Energy Retail Law or the Victorian Energy Retail Code and other legislation, and are also clearly set out in your contract with us.

4.

Privacy

Check out our privacy policy. It sets out how we treat your personal information, and you can be assured, it's with the utmost respect.

5.

Complaints

We care about customer satisfaction and by extension, customer dissatisfaction. If there's a part of our service or relationship that you're not satisfied with, please either utilise the contact form or call 1800 IN CONTROL (1800 462 668), and let us know. When making a complaint it's best to give us as much detail as you can to assist us in helping you and improving our service.

We always try to resolve complaints immediately, but more difficult issues may require escalation to more senior personnel for resolution. Once your complaint is assessed we will contact you within 20 business days to advise you of the outcome. If we need to take further steps, for example involving your distributor in respect of technical issues, we'll contact you and explain what's happening. If you are not satisfied with our response, you may request that your complaint be raised to a higher level in our organisation.

If you're still unsatisfied with our response, you may also refer any complaint or dispute about our service to the relevant Energy Ombudsman. Contact details for the relevant Ombudsman can be found on our website.

6.

Concessions

If you are a Victorian customer it's possible there are concessions available to you, particularly if you hold a concession card. Victorian customers should check out the DHS website at www.dhs.vic.gov.au/concessions for details of available concessions. If you're entitled to a concession, utilise the contact form or give us a call on 1800 IN CONTROL (1800 462 668) and we'll sort it all out. We are not currently able to offer or process EAPA vouchers or Government concessions for NSW customers.

7.

Security Deposits

We don't require security deposits from residential customers, but in certain circumstances we may require a security deposit from you if you are a business customer and:

  • you've left a previous address or transferred from another retailer and you still owe a prescribed amount for the previous account;
  • you've used electricity otherwise than in accordance with applicable laws within the last two years;
  • you're a new customer and you've failed to provide acceptable identification; or
  • your credit rating is determined to be unacceptable, in certain circumstances.

We'll let you know if we need a security deposit and the amount we require, which will be calculated in accordance with relevant legislation. Any such security deposit may be used to pay for electricity which we've supplied to you and you haven't paid for, and we'll return your deposit within ten business days if you pay a year's bills by their due date or you cease to take supply of energy under your contract with us and we elect not to apply the deposit to amounts you owe us.

8.

Credit management

We may undertake a credit check on you through a reporting agency in certain circumstances, and all credit checks are undertaken in accordance with applicable legal requirements, as well as guidelines set out by the Federal Privacy Commissioner.

Any credit check information we receive in relation to you will be treated in accordance with our privacy policy.

9.

If you vacate your premises

If you're moving to another address, we need at least three business days notice and we need a forwarding address (for your final bill and any other necessary communications). If you don't provide us notice and your forwarding address, you may be billed for electricity used at the premises after you have moved!

If you want us to continue supplying you at your new address, let us know at least three business days in advance with details of the new address, and we'll arrange a new contract. Note that your new address might be subject to different energy prices to your existing address.

10.

Termination

You can terminate your contract with us at any time by giving ten business days notice.

We may terminate your contract with us if you fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract, if you transfer to another retailer, or if you cease to be a customer we're licensed to supply to. The National Energy Retail Law and the Victorian Energy Retail Code set out a number of restrictions on when we can terminate, and we will only act within those restrictions.

11.

Tariffs and discounts

What you pay us will generally be a function of what you actively purchase from Powershop, or else will be based on the applicable "everyday rate" for your account. Generally speaking there will be a tariff applicable to your account, either a standing offer tariff or a market offer tariff, and you will be able to secure discounts from that tariff by being active in the "shop."

The tariff that applies to your account initially will be clearly shown when you sign up to Powershop.

If ever your tariff is going to change, we'll give you advanced notice – either on your bill or otherwise.

12.

Meter readings and estimates

With Powershop, you are able to either enter your meter reads into your account (if you have an older 'dumb' meter) or, if you have a smart meter, it will be fed in automatically showing you precisely how much energy you are using. If you do not have a smart meter, typically your distributor will send someone out to read your meter every three months. They do however require clear and safe access to your meter. It's your responsibility to ensure that safe access is provided.

If there is a bill we issue based on our estimation it will be based on your historical data or average consumption.

When we don't have a read, if you get monthly bills, the first two monthly bills of a quarter will generally be based on estimations.

13.

What your bill contains

The National Energy Retail Law and the Victorian Energy Retail Code set out very specific requirements for what needs to be on a bill. Powershop is a bit different to most retailers in that we operate a "shop" for energy and you won't always owe us money (which is nice!), but whenever you do get a bill from us it will have everything on it. We'll show you:

  • your name, account number and addresses;
  • your meter number and checksum;
  • the period of time the bill relates to;
  • the relevant tariffs applicable (plus somewhere we'll show you the average cost in dollars per day);
  • the basis of the bill (eg: an actual meter reading);
  • the amount of energy consumed;
  • any direct pass through network costs;
  • the amount payable for energy;
  • the pay by date (if there's anything owing);
  • the balance of any refundable advance you've provided us;
  • a summary of payment methods and options;
  • info on available concessions;
  • our phone number, 1800 IN CONTROL (1800 462 668), and your distributor's phone number;
  • details of interpreter services;
  • lots of graphs, like your historical usage; and
  • lots of other fun stuff.

14.

Getting your bill

We will give you an electricity bill (normally called an Account Review) at least once every three months, or else we'll agree on a different billing frequency with you, normally monthly. Bills are based on actual reads of your meter where available, or otherwise on estimates provided by the meter provider. If your bill is higher or lower than expected, call us to explore why. If we need to investigate further, we'll do so as quickly as possible.

In the unlikely event that you are overcharged we'll let you know and make sure you are reimbursed. If we've undercharged you, we may recover that amount from you subject to regulatory limitations.

Also, we don’t normally send out paper bills. You can go online at anytime to view and print your account history.

15.

Paying your bill

The nice thing about using Powershop is you have access to a number of payment options. Convenient bill payment methods will always be listed on your bill where you have a balance to pay.

Let us know if you're having ongoing financial difficulties and require flexible payment options. Information on our Hardship Policy can be found at www.powershop.com.au/hardship/.

16.

Disconnections and reconnections

Sometimes for reasons outside of our control there will be interruptions to your supply, such as where your distributor can't maintain supply to you. Interruptions of supply like this are distinct from "disconnection" – which is where we disconnect your supply following breaches by you of your obligations to us.

If you don't pay your bill by the due date and haven't made alternative arrangements with us, we may, as a last resort, disconnect your energy supply. We will always provide you with a disconnection warning before any disconnection.

Also, we may disconnect you if you deny us access to your meter for a period of three billing cycles in a row, if you fail to provide us with a refundable advance that we require, or if you are a new customer and you refuse to provide us with acceptable identification.

We will never disconnect you if your premises are registered as a life support site or if you've previously advised us that someone living at your premises has a medical condition necessitating a continuous supply of electricity.

We won't disconnect you in circumstances where:

  • you have made a formal complaint about us to an Ombudsman and that complaint remains unresolved;
  • you have an outstanding application for a utility relief grant or similar; or
  • you've failed to pay a bill, but the amount outstanding is below the threshold set by the Australian Energy Regulator or the Essential Services Commission of Victoria. As at February 2015, in New South Wales the threshold amount is $300 (inclusive of GST) provided you have agreed to pay any amounts owing to us and in Victoria, the threshold amount is $120 (exclusive of GST) (please note that these amounts may change from time to time).

If we are going to disconnect, we will do so only at a time of day permitted under the National Energy Retail Law or the Victorian Energy Retail Code.

If you're disconnected, you have a right to be reconnected if you can remedy the reason for the disconnection.

If you have a right to be reconnected we will endeavour to reconnect you as soon as practicable.