A Pox on United Energy and Origin Energy (no. 2)

Happy New Year to all my readers…except for United and Origin.  You’ll remember they failed dismally to get our new house connected to electricity and gas prior to Christmas.  We are still not connected!.  Now we are at the Energy and Water Omsbudsman stage, which is why I think others should know of these companies’ total lack of customer service, so you don’t suffer too.  Here’s what’s happened since.

A little background.  We can’t request an electrical connection ourselves, despite being the customer.  So we have to get an electrician to contact Origin (our retailer), who contact United (their connector) who does the connection (probably through another contractor).   We can’t call United.  We can only complain to Origin, who ‘complain’ to United…who may or may not respond.  There are many complications to our story since there are these four (or five) actors involved, but the keys are these (all now notified to the Omsbudsman):

–          Origin notified United on 2 Dec to provide a new overhead power connection, which should have been completed at latest by 16 Dec under contractual agreements

–          On 13 Dec, United sent an underground contractor, who apparent couldn’t connect the overground power (a labour demarcation issue??)

–          Calls to Origin on 15, 19, 20 and 21 Decall led to assurances the job was about to be done (we still had hope…)

–          On 22 Dec we were advised by Origin that United had cancelled the order when they apparently went to the wrong house (why not check with the customer about the specifications – surely something needed to be done?)

–          United refused an Origin request to restart the order, so we had to start the whole process again (Machiavellian bureaucracy!)

–          United does not work between Christmas and New Year (are there never any emergencies???), so the 10 working day period presumably only began 3 Jan…

–          Complaint emails to Origin and United on 24 Dec have not been replied to by either company

–          And we haven’t even started with gas supply yet…

We had to cancel our planned Christmas and New Year activities and are still without a working house.  We’ve received no apology for any errors, for failing to meet agreed service standards or for totally messing up our Christmas which normally has 25-30 people coming to our house.

We are hopeful the Omsbudsman can speed up resolution and save others from experiences this nightmare.  I’m also contacting our local MP, David Morris.  United and Origin, this is shameful.  I hope you lose a lot of customers because of this.


3 thoughts on “A Pox on United Energy and Origin Energy (no. 2)

  1. Mmmm. Sorry to hear that! What a disappointment for your Christmas/ New Year plans…Let’s hope it’s sorted soon. Where is their customer service?
    FYI but just an annoyance compared to your situation… I waited five hours today for a gas metre reader who did not arrive (all booked/ request number etc … It had taken me nearly 40 mins to organise via Origin while I waited for them to set up with distributor) When I rang Origin today to say no one had come, after about 10 minutes of repetition of details and situation etc etc – as well as a rejected request they call me back once sorted – the call centre operator (where?) tried to ring the distributor (while I waited) but could not get a response. Told me I would have to rebook. Metre is behind locked gate. As readers come 3 days either side of a certain date I have attempted to and then offered to leave out accurate reading on paper on front door or take photo of metre and email if I am not at home. Last ACTUAL reading was April. I do not owe them much as they have my history and estimate fairly accurately
    In the end I actually told the operator that this has now become their problem and that I would not be going through this charade again. I told them that unless they could work more co- operatively with their distributor I would have to find another retailer. Let’s see what happens…..
    Good luck! Hope the Ombudsman has some power… and to soon hear that your situation is resolved.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Commiserations Jane. It sounds very similar to our issue. Total lack of customer service, complete lack of flexibility but, as a monopoly operator, you are at their mercy. I changed from Origin at our Melbourne home recently to Powershop, as advised by Getup, Cheaper and totally different customer experience.


  3. Apart from how incredibly frustrating it is for you the really scary part is what this means for people who do t have your skills and persistence. Will be interesting to see what customer gesture the Ombudsman can extract


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