A HILLVUE retiree who was hit with an electricity charge more than 100 times his usage has implored residents to read the fine print on bills.
When Stuart Johns received his first bill from AGL after moving from Calala to Hillvue last year, he received a meter reading of 47,805 kilowatt hours for his off-peak hot water.
He paid the bill – and three successive accounts – before receiving a fresh bill this month and making a shock discovery.
Noticing the reading had jumped from 47,894kWh to 49,356kWh and knowing he uses an average of only 10kWh a quarter, Mr Johns checked his own meter and discovered it read 47,000kWh – 800kWh less than the original reading a year earlier.
He called AGL to notify the company of its error but was told the original reading was correct and he would be forced to pay $45 to have it re-read.
After enquiries by The Leader yesterday, AGL conceded it had made a mistake and offered Mr Johns a $50 bill credit and to reverse the previous charges.
“It’s unbelievable – how many other people would have just paid the bill and gone on not knowing,” Mr Johns said.
“What got me most is once they made the mistake they still wouldn’t go out and investigate.”
An AGL spokeswoman said the company was apologetic for the mistake.
“AGL Energy would like to acknowledge that the customer was incorrectly billed, and apologise for any inconvenience this has caused,” she said.
“AGL Energy has resolved the issue, and offered financial compensation for the customer’s electricity bill which the customer has accepted.”