A couple of letters arrived in the post yesterday. It seems Origin have declined to address their errors and Lumo have caved rather than create any division in the monolith that is private utilities’ business model. Bend over further, pensioner, we can’t stab you in the heart from that angle.
I recant what I said about private utilities being like dealing with The Mob. The Mob have some honour. And bikers. In school a bunch of friends had friends and rellies who were bikers, I’ve yet to meet one who would sell Grandma down the river for $457.66. But for private utilities, that’s bread and butter. Rather than foot the bill that ran up while they were farting around, they’ll pass it on to a disabled Grandmother. And the icing on the cake was the offer to negotiate a payment plan. Lumo are based in New Zealand. I’m guessing Kiwi, not Maori, since they shy from a fight with someone their own size.
The next step is to contact Senators again regarding that Federal inquiry into private electricity utilities. At present it’s related to price fixing and nerfing of solar feed, but given the sheer number of people experiencing problems like these, that needs to be expanded. The Ombudsman can only do so much.
By their own admission the whole issue was caused by an “error” made by Origin. They didn’t really mean to transfer my account without my knowledge or consent. It was sheer accident. Honest.
When clarification was requested, whether this was standard treatment of accounts and how insecure the accounting is, the reply was that it was actually a database error. The databases held by private utilities are such that any clerk can upload an old file by mistake and oops, there goes your account. Too bad, so sad.
Redress? Haha. Surely you jest, peasant. They’ll harass you to the point that you’re happy for your phone to be disconnected. Then stuff around for months, then send you an accrued bill, all because they lack the skills to drive a fucking database. And customers are expected to pay up and shut up. At the same time that the utilities have been colluding to restrict and hamper development of local and sustainable energy.
Private utilities’ business model appears to be, let us all hang together lest separately we all be hanged. Fortunately there’s a bunch of people around looking for public, local distributed energy models. Energy Search negotiate bulk representation and discounts for households and small business, if you’d like to give them a look. Expanded local advocacy is another option, to join together and hound the bastards on social media and in VCAT.
In the same mail Lumo have made me an offer to start doing business purely on the internet. Golly gee, folks, what an offer! The people who can’t resolve a database bungle want me to expose more of my private information on their web servers and not get things in writing. I can’t wait!
When Origin and Lumo are rendered obsolete, which will be very soon, they’ll have only themselves to blame. I’ll be too busy partying to shed a tear. And if you vote LNP this Saturday and you or your friends or family end up in a similar situation, consider this warning of what you’re in for.