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Genesis Energy responds to Pre Pay System outage

Published: Thu 4 Jun 2009 10:07 AM
Genesis Energy responds to Pre Pay System outage
Following a six hour power outage for a number of its pre-pay electricity customers on Monday, Genesis Energy is initiating a number of changes to improve the pre-pay service.
Many customers have received an initial “goodwill credit” of up to $50. These customers and any customers who have a valid claim for a loss as a result of the breakdown of the pre-payment service will be compensated through the company’s complaints procedure. Around 80 complaints are being worked through this week.
Genesis Energy was concerned that a small number of the pre-pay customers who were without power on Monday morning were relying on mains power for medical equipment. Contractors were sent to any affected customers who expressed concern to immediately restore power. In the past Genesis Energy has contacted customers known to be medically dependent and using the pre-pay service and encouraged them to move to a post-pay product. The Electricity Commission’s guidelines for these customers prevent a retailer refusing to supply pre-pay meters to medically dependent customers if they elect to receive them.
Genesis Energy will write again to these 33 customers, strongly advising them that they should shift to a post-pay meter and use a payment plan such as EvenPay that suits their budget.
Following a review of the weekend outage of the pre-payment system, the fault has been identified as a computer breakdown between two parts of the system. This has been permanently restored. Work is progressing to ensure there is no interruption to supply during public holidays which fall on different dates annually.
In regard to reported conversations between Genesis Energy customer service representatives and affected pre-pay customers, Genesis Energy has reviewed all relevant recordings of calls made to the Emergency Centre and is satisfied that its representatives discussed the issue respectfully and courteously with customers at all times. Genesis Energy is confident the matter was handled professionally by its service representatives and will give assurances of appropriate conduct by its service representatives to the Minister for State Owned Enterprises and the Minister of Energy and Resources.
Despite being satisfied of the professional manner of its staff in dealing with affected customers, Genesis Energy said it fully acknowledged that some customers had found the situation stressful and could only repeat its deep regret and determination to put things right.
ENDS

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